World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) is expanding its support services by launching a new helpline,* which offers up-to-date, reliable nutritional information for people living with and beyond cancer.
WCRF’s helpline is run by a team of oncology specialist dietitians. The service aims to help people get the nutritional advice needed to support their cancer treatment and recovery, and will address issues such as taste changes, appetite loss, nausea, and constipation as well as how to maintain a healthy weight during treatment.
It can be hard to get access to the appropriate support around nutrition. If you or your patient or client have ever had a cancer diagnosis, and are looking for evidence-based nutrition, the service is available on Tuesdays (12-2pm) and Thursdays (6-8pm). These hours of operation will be expanded as the year progresses.
Christopher Allen, Cancer Support Programme Manager at WCRF, comments: “We wanted to provide people with cancer a helpline where they can access expert nutritional information. This can often be difficult through the NHS. Treatments such as chemotherapy can make it more of a challenge to eat as you normally would while absorbing the necessary nutrients – and we’ll offer tips and support to make mealtimes easier and more enjoyable for those with a cancer diagnosis.”
Jodie Burdett, who had a breast cancer diagnosis, says: “When I was diagnosed, I looked at which habits I could change. It was difficult to know who to trust as there’s quite a lot of ‘advice’ out there with conflicting and confusing messages. So many of us going through chemotherapy unhelpfully get told, ‘you just need to keep your weight up, eat four cream cakes’.
“That’s when I came across WCRF; its helpline will play a vital role for so many people going through cancer like me who need information about nutrition.”
Debbie Hack, Oncology Specialist Dietitian, who takes calls on the helpline, says: “When I heard about World Cancer Research Fund’s new nutrition helpline my immediate thoughts were ‘at last, something that fills the gap’.
Dietetic services for cancer vary significantly across the UK and those affected don’t always have access to credible nutritional support. Our helpline addresses this fundamental need. Some people just require reassurance or guidance on how to access the right information, and now we are here to help with that.”
*For more information on the helpline, visit https://www.wcrf-uk.org/helpline.