Taste and Smell Changes

Causes: Cancer and Cancer treatment can cause changes in your senses of taste and smell.

Symptoms: How foods taste and smell can change from day to day, and these changes may affect your appetite.

Tips to Prevent:

To find foods that are appealing, try experimenting with new foods or cuisines, marinades, spices, and ways of preparing what you eat.

Practicing good oral care is generally helpful

  • To keep your mouth clean and healthy, rinse and brush your teeth after meals and before bed.
  • Before eating, rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 quart water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Choose foods with tart flavors.
  • Blend fresh fruits into shakes, ice cream, or yogurt.
  • Eat frozen fruits.
  • Select fresh vegetables.
  • Add sweeteners or a little bit of sugar to foods.
  • Season foods with herbs, spices, and other seasonings.
  • Use plastic utensils or chopsticks.
  • Add lemon juice or other flavorings to water.
  • Suck on sugar-free lemon drops, gum, or mints.
  • Choose other protein rich foods like beans, lentils, or tofu instead of meat.
  • Marinate and cook meat in sweet juices, fruits, acidic dressings, or wine to improve the taste of meats.
  • Choose foods that do not need to be cooked.
  • Serve foods cold or at room temperature.
  • Avoid the kitchen during meal cooking time to avoid food smells.
  • Eat in cool, well-ventilated rooms.
  • For protein drinks and other beverages, use a cover on the cup and drink with a straw.

Taste and Smell Changes

Causes: Cancer and Cancer treatment can cause changes in your senses of taste and smell.

Symptoms: How foods taste and smell can change from day to day, and these changes may affect your appetite.

Tips to Prevent: To find foods that are appealing, try experimenting with new foods or cuisines, marinades, spices, and ways of preparing what you eat. Practicing good oral care is generally helpful.