Nutritional Counseling and Services

Nutritional foods in a heart-shaped bowl

Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Counseling

Our registered dietitians are experts in cancer nutrition. They present at national conferences and regional events. Our dietitians are also featured experts for the nutrition section of Ask the Experts on Oncolink, the Abramson Cancer Center's award-winning online cancer resource.

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 at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. Our dietitians specialize in cancer nutrition and provide information based on sound nutritional therapies. 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
We offer individual and group counseling on diet and nutrition to help you during and after your cancer treatments at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center.  We also have a variety of education sheets to help.

Nutrition Counseling

Our experienced registered dietitians counsel patients and families on such issues as weight and strength, improving nutritional status, and enhancing energy level and overall sense of well-being.

Nutrition is important during and after cancer treatment. Our experienced nutritional counselors help with:

  • Managing treatment side effects that may affect the ability to eat
  • Finding ways to obtain adequate hydration
  • Suggesting foods to help maintain weight
  • Identifying easy food preparation steps to help patients conserve energy
  • Analyzing drug/nutrient interactions between chemotherapy medications and herbs or nutritional supplements
  • Providing guidance for using complementary therapies and cancer diets
  • Suggesting alternative forms of nutrition
To make an appointment with the Abramson Cancer Center's Nutritional Counseling Program, call 215-615-0534.

Nutrition Classes

Penn offers nutrition classes for patients beginning cancer treatment. The classes provide educational information, specific guidelines and recommendations, and important nutritional guidance during cancer treatment and survivorship.

Registered dietitians from the Abramson Cancer Center teach these classes.

  • Build Yourself a Healthy Diet. For class dates and to register, call 215-614-0651.
  • Nutrition and Diet for Breast Cancer. For class dates and to register, call 215-614-0651.
  • Nutrition and Diet for Prostate Cancer. For dates and to register, call 215-614-0651.

For more information or to register, please call 215-615-0534.