Nutrition Advice for Cancer Patients and Survivors Available in New DVD

"Food for the Fight" DVD Produced by American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital<br><br/>Offers Tips for Healthy Nutrition During and After Cancer Treatment

Oct 30, 2008


Good nutrition is vitally important to both cancer patients and cancer survivors in promoting healing and preventing recurrence. Yet this can be a challenge, especially for current patients, for whom eating and drinking is often difficult due to treatment side effects that alter appetite and sense of taste.

Today, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital announce the availability of a new educational DVD called "Food for the Fight," featuring expert interviews, patient stories and cooking demonstrations to arm cancer survivors and caregivers with the information they need to enjoy healthy and delicious foods for fighting cancer. The DVD will be available to NewYork-Presbyterian patients and to the general public through AICR.

"Many cancer patients and survivors are not involved in survivor support groups or organizations and as a result, may lack the access to nutrition guidelines," says AICR Nutrition Adviser Karen Collins, M.S., R.D. "With this DVD, they can see and hear real cancer survivors and diet and cancer experts talk about what they can do and how to do it."

The "Food for the Fight" DVD stemmed from a NewYork-Presbyterian survey that revealed that oncology patients had additional educational wants and needs. "Our patients told us that they would like a video so they could learn at their own pace and share information with caregivers," says Ken Haber, vice president of patient support services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The DVD is organized into two sections: one for patients receiving treatment, and another for cancer survivors. For current patients, experts offer advice on how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in the face of symptoms like nausea, vomiting and aversion to certain tastes and smells — all common side effects of chemotherapy. Tips include snacking throughout the day and using spices to make food palatable. Good nutrition is just as important for cancer survivors. Experts also stress the importance of exercise, and encourage patients to talk with their doctor or registered dietitian about their nutrition plan.

The DVD features cooking demonstrations of healthy meals, such as Southwest Vegetable Frittata and Crunchy Vanilla French Toast.

Expert Voices and Real Life Stories

"Food for the Fight" features some familiar faces in the promotion for health and wellness, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, director of the Cardiovascular Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and frequent Oprah contributor, and Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University's School of Public Health and one of the nation's leading epidemiologists. AICR's own Karen Collins is also featured on the DVD, along with physicians and registered dietitians from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, including Drs. Aaron Katz, David Nanus, Richard Rivlin and Michael Schuster; clinical dietitians Ann Gaba, Glenis Alexander, Martha McKittrick and Mary Ziotas; and dietetic interns Diedra Dexter and Anastasia Alexis Smith.

The survivors featured throughout the DVD offer hope and inspiration, with stories about their experiences as cancer patients and survivors.

"I think everyone getting cancer treatment should get this DVD," notes one NewYork-Presbyterian patient. "Many people don't feel like reading thick books or doing research on the Internet. This DVD makes the information accessible to everyone. I would have liked to receive it even earlier."

The guidelines for cancer prevention featured in the DVD are based on evidence collected in AICR's landmark expert report, "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective."

For a brief time, you can preview the DVD online by visiting between now and Dec. 1, 2008. Hard copies can be ordered either via this preview page, or from the DVD's homepage,, or by calling (800) 843-8114, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 EST (pricing varies by quantity ordered).

"Food for the Fight" is supported in part by an educational grant from Abbott Nutrition.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $86 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its Web site, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,242 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 230,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the largest and most comprehensive health-care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. It ranks sixth in U.S.News & World Report's guide to "America's Best Hospitals," ranks first on New York magazine's "Best Hospitals" survey, has the greatest number of physicians listed in New York magazine's "Best Doctors" issue, and is included among Solucient's top 15 major teaching hospitals. The Hospital's mortality rates are among the lowest for heart attack and heart failure in the country, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report card. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Media Contact:

Linda Betharte 212-821-0560