Health News

Unite in the Fight Against Cancer Providing Oral Nutrition Supplements Assistance

Written by Lindsey Morris

The path from cancer diagnosis to ringing the bell of hope is not a walk in the park. Many patients must balance their careers, family, and treatments, all while taking care of themselves.  

“We see a lot of malnutrition with our patients,” Rachel Johanek says. Johanek is an Outpatient Oncology Dietitian at the Georgia Cancer Center 

When undergoing cancer treatments, patients can be hit with many different side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite. This can lead to malnutrition, which increases the difficulty of a patient’s recovery.  

Oral nutrition supplements, such as Boost and Ensure, are easy ways to include more nutrients, protein, and fiber into a person’s diet. On top of the nutrients they provide, they are also easier for the patients to ingest, since they are a liquid.  

“They aren’t typically covered by insurance,” Johanek says.  

While insurance can sometimes cover the cost of treatments, many other important items are not covered by insurance, such as these supplements, wigs, and breast prothesis for patients undergoing breast cancer.  

Johanek saw a need for funding for these items and submitted her proposal to be funded by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer, 2023. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer is a one mile walk that celebrates and honors all who have been affected by this disease, while raising funds for patient centered programs.  

Her program, titled Oral Nutrition Supplements Assistance for Malnourished Patients, sought to ease the financial burden on vulnerable patients by providing them up to three oral nutrition supplements a day as they undergo their treatment.  

“It is a very vital program to have due to the cost barrier for so many people. This allows them to thrive during their treatment and have better survivorship outcomes in the end.”  

Johanek’s program received funding from Unite 2023, along with six other programs, all with a focus on patient health and comfort.  

If you would like to learn more about this program, follow us on Facebook to be kept up to date on it and the other programs funded by Unite in the Fight Against Cancer. Unite in the Fight Against Cancer will be held on May 4th 2024. You can find more information by visiting our website and Facebook event page. We encourage all to join us in the fight against cancer.