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Eating & Oesophageal cancer

Eating Oesophageal cancer

Oesophageal cancer can cause problems with swallowing and make it hard to eat well. It’s important to eat and drink enough calories and protein to maintain your weight and strength.

There will be a dietitian in the team looking after you. They can help you cope with eating problems and suggest ways of dealing with diet difficulties.

Eating when swallowing is difficult

It helps to eat soft, moist foods.

Eating slowly and chewing your food well, can also help. And for some, it can be helpful to have a drink during or after eating. Eating smaller amounts more often can be easier than having large amounts. Try to make the most of the times during the day that you feel able to eat.

Making a few changes to what you’re eating, can help you to eat a variety of different foods.

Soft diet suggestions

A soft diet can help you eat more comfortably. Try scrambled egg, soups and mashed potato. You can also:

  • use sauces and gravies to moisten food and make it easier to swallow
  • soften meat and vegetables with long, slow cooking
  • finely chop meat and vegetables in a food processor before or after cooking
  • blend or process meat or vegetable casseroles or curries to make soups
  • make fruit smoothies or milkshakes in a blender
  • try tinned fruit and add custard or cream
  • have ice cream, yoghurts and mousse

Foods that can be difficult to eat

Avoid foods that are hard to swallow and might stick in your throat, like

  • raw fruit and vegetables
  • tough meat
  • soft, doughy bread

You can use a blender to process solid foods.

Recipe Book

We have a fantastic book available written by Dr Aoife Ryan and thanks to Breakthrough Cancer filled with recipes and food ideas for people who may need to put on weight, have difficulty in swallowing, or who are living with the after-effects of surgery on their stomach and/or oesophagus .

For a free copy please email us at

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