Change in taste and smell
Some treatments for pancreatic cancer, such as chemotherapy, can alter your sense of taste or smell. Some people find that they like to enhance the taste of food using spices, herbs and sauces while others find avoiding strong flavours and eating bland, unseasoned food helpful.
Tips for coping with changes in taste and smell:
- To add more flavour to your food, try using garlic, herbs, spices, cheese, pickles, mustards, sugar and salt. Marinate meat, tofu or vegetables to add more flavour.
- If your food tastes too sweet, try adding lemon juice or salt – starting with a few sprinkles/drops and increase until you find the taste acceptable.
- If food tastes metallic or too salty, try adding sugar or honey. Sucking on lemon sherbets or other sharp boiled sweets may also be helpful.
- Some people find a drinking straw helpful to bypass your taste buds.
- If you are affected by cooking odours, try to stay out of the kitchen while food is being cooked if possible.
- Choose foods without a strong smell – sometimes the smell of a food can put you off eating. Cold foods tend not to smell as much as hot foods.
- Sometimes it can be helpful to eat with plastic utensils to reduce the metallic taste and avoid drinking out of aluminium cans and storing food in metallic containers.
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Information Product No. PCA0015v1 | Published: 01/06/2015 | Last Updated: 01/10/2015 | Next Review Due: 01/06/2018