On March 10th, the University Hospital Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda (HUPHM), in collaboration with the Spanish Group of Cancer Patients (GEPAC), held the workshop “Nutrition before, during and after cancer” facilitated by Dr. Marta Villarino Sanz. This workshop is the first session of the Cancer Patients Education Program, an initiative organized by both institutions in the framework of the research project CLARIFY.

The number of cancer survivors has increased in recent years due to advances in diagnoses and treatment but ensuring post-treatment quality of life remains a challenge. The CLARIFY project focuses on identifying the risk factors for deterioration in a patient at the end of oncological treatment to design a patient-specific follow up to improve their health status. In order to do this, clinical and behavioral data is collected and analyzed with Big Data and AI techniques.

The analysis of these data has allowed clinicians to identify clinical problems related to the treatment´s secondary effects and long term problems not related to the tumour. Some of these problems are thus addressed in the different Cancer Patients Education Program ´s sessions where the goal is to provide participants with useful skills, validated resources and scientific-based knowledge to cope with the challenges of the treatment and ease their transition into survivorship.

Patient education programs have shown to positively affect patient health outcomes, including emotional and physical health. Well-informed patients are better equipped to navigate the challenging journey through cancer treatment and recovery.

According to Marisol, a breast cancer patient who participated in the first session of the Cancer Patients Education Program, «the workshop was very interesting, I liked it a lot. It helped me solve my doubts about how to follow a more balanced diet by using all kinds of foods».

A total of 63 people attended the workshop, where the nutrionist Marta Villarino explained how to eat healthy to feel better and stay stronger. She also provided important tips to deal with nutrition-related side effects and challenged several cancer diets myths with scientific-based evidence.

The sessions of the Cancer Patients Education Program take place once a month, from 12. 00 to 14:00 at the University Hospital Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda and on line.