Nutrition and Breast Cancer
Sharing a bit about a new project
I’ve said here and there that I used to be a clinical dietitian at a breast cancer center here in New York up until last spring. I was there for almost seven years and absolutely loved my patients and the work, however; I was so burnt out and mentally drained from the nature of the job and all of the changes that came along with working in a hospital during COVID, I had to make a change for my mental health. Since then, I’ve been working for myself in my performance nutrition and women’s health nutrition counseling practice, and it has been amazing. I recently started working with a new client just diagnosed with breast cancer, and it lit a fire within me that I haven’t felt since last year. I really missed working with breast cancer patients! So…
I present: Breast Cancer Nutrition, by Kelly Hogan, MS, RD.
Breast cancer nutrition is itself a unique expertise in the field of nutrition and dietetics, and there are only a handful of dietitians who can call themselves an “expert” in the area. That’s because the majority of cancer centers in the country have oncology dietitians, but typically no dietitian solely focused on breast cancer. I always say that a breast cancer dietitian is (should be!) a hybrid of a women’s health and oncology dietitian, because you will (should!) do just as much body image and relationship with food work as you do symptom management and nutrition education during chemotherapy, etc. There are also more breast cancer survivors in the country than any other cancer - most of my patients were A-OK after treatment but very much in need of guidance on healthy behavior change and nutrition for the long term.
There is also a HUGE lack of accurate, science-backed resources out there for those living with or at risk for breast cancer when it comes to nutrition. Before I created my new Instagram handle, there was one other account on the topic. One! Ditto for websites. Complicating this is that the amount of nutrition misinformation out there - the internet, media, social media, aunt Karen - is a immeasurable. I feel a deep urge to do my part and combat that with all of the knowledge and unique experience I have working professionally in breast cancer as a dietitian. Though I will be seeing clients with breast cancer for nutrition counseling, my goal for the website and Instagram page is to provide free, accessible and accurate information on nutrition and breast cancer for anyone who needs it.
Thanks so much for reading! If you need me, I’ll be fast and furiously creating said resources :)
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