August 29, 2016 Kuala Lumpur – Cancer patients and survivors in Malaysia can now access over 50 recipes that suit their illness, taste, nutritional needs and tight schedules.
Written and developed by survivors from the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), “Around the table: recipes for cancer patients and caregivers” is the Society’s first cookbook ‘from survivors, for survivors’.
The cookbook, launched by Raja Datuk Seri Azureen Sultan Azlan Shah on 27 August, features a variety of soups, main dishes, light meals, juices and desserts. It focuses on simplicity, taste, affordability and accessibility of the ingredients. Most recipes also contain notes from the NCSM’s dietitian, including tips on boosting certain nutrients, or who would best enjoy the dish.
“Many survivors are aware that they have to eat well when battling cancer, but they are challenged by poor appetite, as well as lacking the time and energy to cook,” says Clare Ratnasingham, Vice President of NCSM.
“Also, through NCSM’s years of supporting and caring for patients, we realise that many of them are unsure of what types of food and the amount that they should eat, how best to prepare them, and if there is any that they should avoid.”
The project was also inspired by a caregiver’s experience of caring for her late father. While food still brought him joy when he was battling cancer, he still vomited from the side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
“This is a common scenario among cancer patients,” says assistant editor of the cookbook and cancer survivor Rohana Hussein. “They develop a love hate relationship with food, and the difficult task of preparing meals for the patients falls on the caregivers.”
To help patients and caregivers overcome these challenges, NCSM, along with its women’s support group Pink Unity, compiled recipes from those who went through the ordeal.
All of the recipes were cooked and tasted in NCSM’s kitchen, and later tested by the Society’s dietitian to ensure that they meet the nutritional needs of patients.
“This was a fruitful labour from the team,” says Clare. “We hope that it will serve the needs of patients, and inspire people to eat and live well.
“NCSM also offers complimentary dietary advice for patients and survivors, as well as a toll-free helpline to those who need information and support on cancer. Just call 1800-08-1000 and we are there for you.”
Titled “Around the Table: Recipes for Cancer Patients and Caregivers”, the book is available at NCSM’s headquarters in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz at RM20 each. For more information on the cookbook, please call 03-2691 7624.