The side effects of cancer treatment can wreak havoc on a person’s diet. Side effects, such as loss of appetite, sore mouth or throat, dry mouth, nausea, abdominal pain, etc., can impair a patient’s nutritional intake.

Thanks to generous donors, cancer patients at Providence Newberg Medical Center have help navigating this part of their treatment. Grace Laman, RD, meets with cancer patients at Newberg once a week. She helps patients based on the type of cancer they have and the problems they are experiencing.

Each patient receives a nutritional screening prior to treatment to identify those most at risk for malnutrition. After the initial screening, the test is done again every few weeks so risk can be identified at any point during treatment.

Working with each person, Grace focuses on maximizing a patient’s ability to get nutrients. “By improving nutrition, we prevent hospitalizations for things like dehydration and malnutrition,” she said. “We prevent delays in treatment, and overall quality of life outcomes are improved.”

After treatment, Grace may refer a patient to an outpatient dietitian to help with any lingering nutritional concerns. Many patients have long-term recoveries after their cancer care.

Grace didn’t plan to become a nutritionist. She was going to be high school biology teacher, but when she took a class in women’s nutrition, she was hooked. She received her master’s degree in nutrition and has focused on oncology nutrition for the past three years.

Nutrition appointments are not covered by most insurance, so your support means we can offer them at no charge to cancer patients.


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