Relationship Between Dietary Intake and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients During Chemotherapy


Background: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy around the World. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing and represents a major global health issue. Nutrition is important for the treatment of all stages of breast cancer for the nutrition status, supporting immune function, maintaining body tissues and enhancing quality of life (QoL). Patient-generated subjective global assessment (PG-SGA) is the clinically relevant method for evaluating nutritional status and used as an objective measure to demonstrate the outcome of nutrition intervention.

Aim: QoL is being used as a primary outcome measure to evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition intervention. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between nutrition intake and QoL in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods: A total of 47 female stage I to IV breast cancer patients who undergoing chemotherapy at private hospitals and chemo day-care centre were enrolled. The study design was the prospective pre and post intervention study. Pre assessment of nutritional status and QoL were conducted  by PG-SGA and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaires respectively. Nutritional education based on individualized energy and protein requirements was given. Post assessment of nutritional status and QoL were also conducted by same tools.

Results: Protein intake before nutritional education did not meet the minimum requirement  however, after receiving nutritional education protein intake was significantly increased. The number of malnutrition risk groups were significantly reduced and the mean score of QoL questionnaires were significantly improved compared to pre and post intervention. There were significant correlation between malnutrition risk group ( PG-SGA B) ,and global health status and symptom scale of nausea and vomiting (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Nutritional education can improve overall energy and protein intake, and get better nutritional status and QoL in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Key words: Nutritional education, protein intake, nutritional status, QoL, breast cancer,    chemotherapy