Nutritional Counseling and Services

Nutritional foods in a heart-shaped bowl

Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Counseling

Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center's registered dietitians are experts in cancer nutrition. They present at national conferences and regional events and are 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 the 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.

Nutrition Planning

The Abramson Cancer Center's dietitians:

  • Assess individual nutritional status

  • 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.
  • Offer suggestions on improving nutrition
  • Provide advice on diet and nutrition therapies
  • Provide information on alternative approaches to nutrition, such as supplements, herbal therapies and alternative diet regimens
  • Review personal nutrition practices

We offer individual and group counseling on diet and nutrition to help you during and after your cancer treatments at 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:

  • Analyzing drug/nutrient interactions between chemotherapy medications and herbs or nutritional supplements
  • Finding ways to obtain adequate hydration
  • Identifying easy food preparation steps to help patients conserve energy
  • Managing treatment side effects that may affect the ability to eat
  • Providing guidance for using complementary therapies and cancer diets
  • Suggesting alternative forms of nutrition
  • Suggesting foods to help maintain weight

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 offer 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.