Nutritional Counseling


Nutrition counseling by registered dietitians is available for all patients being treated for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center through the Tracey Birnhak Nutritional Counseling Program. Our dietitians specialize in cancer nutrition and provide information based on sound nutritional therapies. We offer classes and workshops as well as individual advice. We also have a variety of education sheets to help.

Throughout treatment, a well-balanced nutrition plan can improve tolerance and response to therapy and promote recovery.

The Abramson Cancer Center's dietitians:

  • Assess individual nutritional status
  • Review personal nutrition practices
  • Provide advice on diet and nutrition therapies
  • Offer suggestions on improving nutrition
  • Help you create an individualized nutrition plan that can be easily built in to your life. Nutrition recommendations are based on the patient's type of cancer, medical history, personal preferences, treatment plan, and the presence of side effects
  • Provide information on alternative approaches to nutrition, such as supplements, herbal therapies and alternative diet regimens

Expert Advice on Cancer Nutrition

In addition to providing specialized advice on cancer nutrition, our registered dietitians:

  • Are the featured experts for the nutrition section of "Ask the Experts," on OncoLink, Abramson Cancer Center's award-winning cancer resource on the web.
  • Present at national conferences such as the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo and regional events such as FitFest. Topics and research presented have included "From Hospital to Home: A Focus on Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers" and the "Power of Prevention."
  • Are frequent presenters at a variety of disease-specific patient conferences and support groups throughout the region and conduct workshops on oncology nutrition topics.
  • Offer regular classes for Abramson Cancer Center patients, including the classes Nutrition During Cancer Treatment, Nutrition for the Cancer Survivor and A Weigh to a Healthier You, a weight loss workshop for breast cancer survivors.
  • Participate in a variety of research projects focusing on areas such as weight gain following breast cancer treatment, the impact of a weight loss and exercise program on cancer-related fatigue and the effect of nutritional intervention in gastrointestinal cancer patients.
  • Are knowledgeable on the use of complementary and alternative cancer therapies and can provide education regarding herbs, cancer diets, and supplements
To make an appointment with the Abramson Cancer Center's Nutritional Counseling Program, call 215-615-0534.