Press Releases

New American Cancer Society Cookbook Offers 100 Nutritious Recipes to Help Cancer Patients Get Well During Treatment
Sep 22, 2009
Cookbook also offers tips to overcome side effects and advice for caregivers

ATLANTA 2009/09/22 -Cancer patients have unique nutritional needs, and a person’s appetite may change daily based on the type of treatment they are receiving. Although nutrition is critical to getting well from cancer, eating is often one of the hardest things cancer patients have to face due to treatment side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, mouth sores, swallowing problems, and unexpected weight loss. The American Cancer Society’s new cookbook, What to Eat During Cancer Treatment, helps cancer patients and their caregivers by providing great recipes and useful, comforting advice about cancer nutrition.

Healthy and delicious recipes such as “Mini Shepherd’s Pies,” “Crunchy Asian Salad,” and “Pineapple-Mango Slushies” will not only meet the needs of the person undergoing treatment, but will also be perfect for the entire family, eliminating the time and hassle of preparing separate meals. Recipes are organized by symptom and flagged with colorful “symptom icons” for easy reference. Although there are 100 recipes in the book, many of the recipes may be used for multiple symptoms, providing more than 220 options for symptom relief. The American Cancer Society recommends asking your dietitian to help you create a nutritious, balanced eating plan after cancer, and this cookbook provides healthy, delicious recipes that can be enjoyed beyond cancer treatment as well.

"This cookbook serves as a great resource for anyone facing a cancer diagnosis," said Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and physical activity for the Society. "Good nutrition is essential during cancer treatment but sometimes, side effects may have a negative impact on what and how you eat. This cookbook offers healthy recipes that can help cancer patients cope with a variety of different side effects. And the recipes taste great, so caregivers and family members will also enjoy them."

The cookbook also includes six bonus features, including advice for the caregiver, tips to make eating out easier, a kitchen staples list, advice on avoiding excess weight gain during treatment, tips on assembling a take-along food “survival kit,” and a helpful list of organizations that provide information on nutrition and cancer. The Library Journal described the cookbook as, “Valuable information in [a] readable format.”

The book, which includes 24 full-color recipe photographs and would serve as a wonderful gift for patients undergoing treatment, was created by Jeanne Besser, co-author of the Society’s best-selling The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook, and three American Cancer Society dietitians with extensive experience providing nutrition assistance to cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers. The result is the ultimate comfort-food cookbook that focuses on helping people with cancer get well.

About the authors

Jeanne Besser is a food columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a published cookbook author. Her cookbooks include The First Book of Baking (1996), Working Mom’s Fast and Easy One-Pot Cooking (1998, revised as Working Mom’s Fast & Easy Family Cookbook in 2003), The 5:30 Challenge: 5 Ingredients, 30 Minutes, Dinner on the Table (2006), and The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook (2007). Jeanne resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kristina (Kris) Ratley, RD, CSO, LDN, is a registered dietitian and works as a Dietitian on Call with the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. Kris is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology nutrition with more than 20 years experience in the field of dietetics. Her personal accomplishments include completing three marathons, and she hopes to run in the New York City Marathon soon. Kris lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Sheri Knecht, RD, CSO, CNSD, LDN, is a registered dietitian and manager of the Dietitian on Call program for the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. She founded the Dietitian on Call program in 2000 and works within that program to assist, educate, and promote good nutrition and physical activity for cancer patients and survivors. Sheri is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian. She resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Michele Szafranski, MS, RD, CSO, LDN, is a registered dietitian and works as a Dietitian on Call with the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. Michele is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment: ISBN-13: 978-1-60443-005-9; ISBN-10: 1-60443-005-2 (trade paperback)

Available August 2009 on,

, and everywhere books are sold.

Claire Greenwell
Media Relations Specialist
American Cancer Society