Nausea and vomiting are often temporary and do not affect everyone receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Nausea: subjective feeling of being about to vomit.
  • Vomiting: sudden expulsion by the mouth of the stomach contents with or without heaving.
Here are some tips that can help those affected.

Helpful hints

  • Take anti-nausea medication as prescribed by the doctor at the onset of nausea.
  • Take anti-nausea medication 20 to 30 minutes before meals.
  • Drink clear fluids such as water, sports drinks, broth and ginger ale.
  • Eat five or six small light meals or snacks per day. Choose times when nausea is less pronounced, even at night. Eat in a relaxed atmosphere and take time to rest afterwards. Lying down is not recommended; a sitting or half-sitting position is best (place two or three pillows under your head, as needed).
  • Eat mostly cold or lukewarm food.
  • Avoid strong odours.
  • Avoid fried, spicy, fatty or very salty dishes.
  • Choose foods that are pleasant to the taste or make you feel less nauseous.
  • Do not force yourself to eat if you feel nauseous.
  • Use relaxation or meditation techniques.

Helpful hints: vomiting

  • Limit intake of food and drink when vomiting occurs, and until it stops.
  • From 30 to 60 minutes after vomiting, gradually consume clear liquids. If clear liquids are tolerated, try eating dry foods like crackers, toast, dry cereal and pretzels. If these are tolerated, add foods rich in protein, such as eggs or chicken.

Severe vomiting can cause dehydration and greatly weaken a person. It is advisable to contact the oncology team when the following situations arise:

  • Five or more vomiting episodes per day;
  • No food for 24 hours
  • Inability to ingest liquid without vomiting;
  • Signs of dehydration include dizziness, dry mouth, skin folds, thirst, decreased urination, more concentrated urine, and increased heart rate;
  • Blood in vomit;
  • Severe associated abdominal pain;
  • Inability to perform everyday activities. 

Comment on this article

Sign up for our newsletter







 

Related items

Cancer screening

With early detection and better investigation and treatment methods, the survival rate for Canadians with cancer is over 60%. By comparison, in the 1940s, this stood at about 25%. For some cancers, the survival rate is even higher: 88% for breast cancer, 97% for testicular cancer or 96% for prostate cancer.

Readmore

Medical follow-up

There are several factors influencing what follow-up care will be required upon completion of treatment. Readmore

Life habits

You don’t need to have been physically active prior to your cancer diagnosis to start moving. It only takes a few minutes of physical exercise a day to enjoy its many benefits: increased energy levels, better stress and anxiety management, fatigue reduction, alleviation of certain side effects, etc. Readmore

Cancer therapies that complement cancer treatment

Whether they benefit the body, such as massage therapy, or the mind, like art therapy, these are activities that everyone with cancer, depending on their interests and needs, could include within their journey with the disease.
  Readmore

Taking care of yourself as a caregiver

When you are a caregiver, it’s easy to devote yourself entirely to taking care of the sick person. Our concern over the health of the other person can make us forget we should also be paying attention to our own. You still have a large number of personal, family and work-related tasks and responsibilities in addition to those of the patient. Readmore