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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Olfactory Neuroblastoma?

Olfactory neuroblastoma (ON) originates from the olfactory epithelium. Unilateral nasal block and epistaxis are the usual warning signs. Also, headache, sinus discomfort, extreme lacrimation, rhinorrhea, anosmia and vision loss may arise.

Side effects can occur with any form of therapy for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus tumors; however, every person’s understanding is distinct. Certain individuals have numerous side effects. Other individuals have only some or none at all.

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Olfactory Neuroblastoma?

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Olfactory Neuroblastoma?

There is a multitude of side effects such as painful sores in the lining of the mouth, no appetite and weight loss post-surgery and radiation therapy in olfactory neuroblastoma. When patients are facing with appetite loss, they can improve their appetite by intaking medications that increase appetite and help move food through the intestine.

Medications for olfactory neuroblastoma can only help the food move through the intestine, therefore you can take nutritional supplements through tube feeding ( a liquid form of nourishment that is delivered to your body with the help of a flexible tube) Although the most patient does have the feel for eating yet it is imperative to provide good nutrition to the body to maintain a healthy weight and for the recovery of important parts of the body.2,3

Nutritious eating helps you manage your olfactory neuroblastoma symptoms and cope physically and emotionally against the effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Let us see what you need to do eat to get proper nutrition

  • Eat 5 -6 small portions of meals every day or a snack whenever you are hungry.
  • Set regular intervals of time when you should eat and make sure that you are fed at those times
  • Eat foods that are rich in calories and protein such as:
    • Meat, fish, and poultry
    • Cheese, milk products like heavy cream, whipped cream, milk powder, yogurt, butter, margarine
    • Eggs, almonds, oats & quinoa
    • Broccoli
    • Lean beef and tuna
  • Increase the intake of fluids, make sure your liquid intake is between meals and not with the meals because drinking during a meal will create a fullness to your stomach and eventually your appetite will be limited.
  • Your fluid intake can be as per your choice however dietician often advise to consume health drinks, milkshakes from real fruits or smoothies to get better nutritional value.
  • Radiation therapy side effects often result in nausea sensation, therefore, to manage the feeling, you can have cold foods at room temperature to decrease the odor and lessen its strong taste.5

Most olfactory neuroblastoma patients have challenges in tasting the food. During such instances, you can have the food amid the family to avoid unpleasant feelings or add spices and condiments to your food to make it more appealing.

How Is Neuroblastoma Treated?

In almost all instances, the initial model of care for olfactory neuroblastoma is surgery to eliminate the cancerous cells. The surgery will not only remove the tumor rather eliminate a huge portion of muscles around the tumor. This process ensures that the entire cancer cells are completely removed. In general, there are 2 forms of surgery that are typically performed: they are the wide local excision (a surgical procedure to remove a small area of diseased or problematic tissue with a margin of normal tissue) and medial maxillectomy (surgical resection of the medial and superomedial walls of the maxillary antrum).

These procedures would need the rebuilding of a portion of the face. However, these extend the best chance of long-standing survival. In certain instances, less-invasive surgeries may be viable.1


  1. Olfactory Neuroblastoma – University of Rocher Medical Center https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspxContentTypeID=134&ContentID=88
  2. Turning to humor helps one patient cope with a rare cancer of the nasal cavity https://www.rogelcancercenter.org/living-with-cancer/survivorship/laughing-through-cancer
  3. Esthesioneuroblastoma Treatment & Management https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/278047-treatment
  4. Treating High-Risk Neuroblastoma at the Turn of the Century https://www.acco.org/treating-high-risk-neuroblastoma-at-the-turn-of-the-century/
  5. Side effects of radiation therapy for nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/nasal-paranasal/treatment/radiation-therapy/potential-side-effects/?region=qc

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 17, 2020

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