Specialized oncology dietitian assists cancer patients with unique nutritional needs
A specialized oncology dietitian has joined the care team at Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network, providing custom, one-on-one support to help cancer patients navigate their unique nutritional needs.
Salem Zeglin helps patients understand and meet their nutritional needs, which can change throughout the course of treatment. She also helps patients prevent and manage common side effects of cancer treatment, including weight loss, loss of appetite, mouth sores and gastrointestinal issues.
Many cancer patients are at risk of becoming malnourished due to side effects and changing nutritional requirements. Zeglin said it’s crucial patients get proper nutrition despite these challenges so they can keep up their strength to fight the disease and aid in recovery.
“Knowing what to expect before starting treatment can take a huge burden off a patient’s shoulders once treatment begins,” Zeglin said. “We walk them through the possible effects and help them prepare, and we stick with them to make sure getting the proper nutrition isn’t something they have to worry about so they can focus on feeling better. We’ll be there with them through every step to help guide the way.”
A Myrtle Beach native, Zeglin earned a health sciences degree from Horry-Georgetown Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Coastal Carolina University. She earned an additional bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Winthrop University and a master’s degree in dietetics from the University of Rhode Island.
“I’ve always wanted to help people, and I felt pulled to this field to help cancer patients,” Zeglin said. “I want to work to help minimize side effects and give patients tools to support recovery.”
Oncology dietitian services are part of the comprehensive care patients receive at Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network, the region’s most comprehensive cancer program and an affiliate of MUSC Health’s Hollings Cancer Center, a National Institutes of Cancer-designated cancer center.
At Tidelands Health, a multidisciplinary team of physicians and experts works collaboratively to customize a care and treatment plan to meet each patient’s unique needs. The Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network is the only triple-accredited cancer center in the area. The program is accredited by the American College of Radiology, the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and the Commission on Cancer, a program of the American College of Surgeons.
“The addition of an oncology dietitian is part of our ongoing strategy to offer a broad range of services for our patients,” said Derin Wilson, director of oncology services at Tidelands Health. “We are continuously looking for opportunities to use new technologies and specialized services that will benefit our patients, take care of their unique needs and lead to healthier outcomes.”
Learn more about the Tidelands Health Cancer Care Network at tidelandshealth.org