Lifespan Cancer Institute

Our Dietitians

Comprehensive Cancer Center diet staff

All registered dietitians are health care professionals who have an extensive background in food, nutrition, biochemistry and physiology. Patients at the Lifespan Cancer Institute can be assured that the registered dietitians who work with them have a particular expertise in nutrition for people undergoing cancer treatment.

Our dietitians can:
  • Aid in the modification of eating habits to ensure that your nutrition complements your specific cancer, stage of cancer, type of treatment, feeding method and effects of therapy.

  • Ensure the minimization of the effects of nutrition-related side effects and complications of cancer treatment.

  • Draft nutrition plans that take into account a patient's co-morbid, or pre-existing, conditions. For example, a patient with pre-existing diabetes undergoing cancer treatment should have a specialized nutrition plan that considers both conditions.

  • Offer suggestions that will make eating more comfortable based on your specific diagnosis. For example, patients with lung cancer often have difficulty eating due to esophageal burning. Our dietitians can help alleviate the discomfort by suggesting certain foods to eat. If a feeding tube is necessary, our dietitians can coordinate your feeding plan and schedule for you.

  • Educate patients about the preparation of meals. Adequate nutrition has an impact on cancer symptoms. But, often, cancer patients experience fatigue, nausea and loss of appetite, making eating difficult. Our dietitians can help make mealtimes easier with preparation, scheduling and food choice tips.

  • Offer advice on the safety and appropriateness of supplements and antioxidants. Our dietitians are educated in the ways in which certain supplements may interfere with treatments like radiation therapy.

  • Decrease the likelihood of involuntary weight loss or vitamin and protein depletion with appropriate nutrient-dense foods, shakes, and supplements (if needed).

Meet the Team

Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, LDN Headshot

Mary Flynn, PhD, RD, LDN

Karen Pasquazzi, RD, CSO, LDN Headshot

Karen Pasquazzi, RD, CSO, LDN