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CHPG: “Our diet pattern is a cofactor of cancer risk development”

19 March 2019 - 8h26

The patients of CHPG and Centre Rainier III tasted last week a special meal concocted by chef Philippe Joannès, meilleur ouvrier de France and director of culinary events for the SBM. An operation highlighting the importance of “healthy eating” in patients. For this occasion, Georges Garnier, Head of Hospital Hematology Day Department, talks about the importance of eating behavior in health.

What is the link between oncology and ” healthy eating “?

For 30 years there has been an exponential increase of cancers worldwide. All studies agree that 40% of cancers could be prevented by our behavior, that is, our diet and physical activity. Other studies show that when we eat bio without going into the details of what bio means, we significantly reduce the risk of cancer.

What is certain is that our diet pattern is a cofactor of the development of cancer risk.

What is ” healthy eating ” for you?

It’s a behavior! At the same time what we eat and how we eat it. For example, it is better for you to be at the table with your family for an hour than to eat a sandwich in a train. Our eating behavior is important for health, not just for disease prevention.

Can we say that this is part of a treatment, a new method?

“Healthy eating” is part of prevention. There has been a great deal of therapeutic progress in cancer treatments. On the other hand, as far as prevention is concerned, we have not made as much progress.

The increase in incidence of cancers in so-called developed countries is partly food-dependent. There are already recommendations in terms of eating behavior, which can be found for example on the website of the National Cancer Institute. And despite that, we are still seeing an increase in cancer. How to explain it? There are uncertainties because these data are multifactorial and cancer is a multifactorial disease, but diet plays an important role.

Depending on the different medical treatments, especially oncology, patients may lose their appetite. What to do to revive it? How to integrate this ” healthy eating ” into their diet?

There is a loss of appetite in a cancer patient that leads to weight loss, so the protein level goes down and the chemotherapy is more toxic than if the patient has a more general state. In order to maintain a proper food intake, “good eating” is fundamental.

This is how our hotel project was born almost eight years ago: kitchen teams prepare meals adapted to our patients on site because taste and smell are often modified after chemotherapy. It is certain that since this project, we have more and more patients who eat and feel better. There was a phenomenal positive impact! but there are still patients who still have nausea and loss of appetite.

How do you see the evolution of ” healthy eating ” in the CHPG?

We know that there are certain foods that are dangerous to health, then there are other foods that increase the appetite in our cancer patients, we will integrate these data in our hotel project. “Well-being” is good for our patients, it’s a care in itself.

Propos recueillis par Daniela Guerra

©Sven Hiker –  Pixabay

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