Living with cancer is a life changing experience that always comes with lots of challenges and sacrifices.
Getting cancer alters nearly every system of your body, which leads to poor appetite and rapid weight loss.
Knowing the best local food that can act as a substitute to your normal diet and maintaining good body weight helps with the healing process, when living with cancer.
In 2016, the Samoa Cancer Society identified the need for a local nutrition resource, which would help people living with cancer and their family members.
With the assistance of the University of Canberra (U.O.C.) and Public Health and Nutrition Faculty lecturers and students, research on food and drinks advertising and marketing in Samoa and a cancer specific nutrition book - “Healthy Eating for Living with Cancer” was instigated.
For the past two years, S.C.S and U.O.C researched local available foods as healthy and nutritional substitutes for processed and expensive foods currently available – with the focus on nutrition for cancer.
The Healthy Eating for Living with Cancer resource is the outcome of this research and provides recipes and guidance for cancer patients and their carers in preparing food and sustenance, using locally grown foods that are readily available and more affordable.
During the course of planning and researching a nutrition video was also created to show how to make some of the recipes contained in the book and which S.C.S intends to use as a training tool for outreach workshops and home visits.
A cancer fighter and survivor herself, Manamea Schwalger fronts the video as an avid supporter of providing healthy and nutritional options for cancer sufferers.
She recalls the drastic weight loss she underwent in her battle and was more than impressed with the delicious nutritious shake produced for the video and will be available soon for cancer patients to embrace.