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, 19 (3), 189-96

[Quality of Life in Gastrointestinal Cancer: What Is the Impact of Nutrition?]

[Article in Portuguese]
  • PMID: 17234079

[Quality of Life in Gastrointestinal Cancer: What Is the Impact of Nutrition?]

[Article in Portuguese]
Paula Ravasco et al. Acta Med Port.


Introduction: Nutrition and Quality of Life (QoL) are key issues.

Aims: 1) to evaluate Quality of Life (QoL), nutritional status and dietary intake, taking into account the stage of disease and therapeutic interventions, 2) to determine potential inter-relations, 3) to quantify the relative contributions of cancer/nutrition/treatments on QoL.

Methods: In 184 oesophagus, stomach and colon/rectum cancer patients, the following were evaluated: QoL (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire), nutritional status (% weight loss over the previous 6 months), usual diet (diet history), current diet (24 hr recall) and a range of clinical variables.

Results: Stage III/IV patients showed a significant reduction from their usual energy/protein intake (p=0.001), worse in oesophagus (p=0.02), while current intakes were lower than in stage I/II patients (p=0.0002). Weight loss was greater in stage III/IV (p=0.001). Different diagnoses and cancer stages presented different patterns of QoL function scales (p=0,03), significantly and independently associated with nutritional factors (p=0,05). Patients in stage III/IV had increased symptomatology (p=0,003); symptom scales and single items were strongly associated with stage III/IV (p=0,04). Patients with stomach cancer presented the worst global QoL not significantly different from oesophagus, vs colon/rectum, p=0,02.

Conclusions: In oesophageal, stomach and colon/rectum cancer, nutritional deterioration depends of diet intake, the latter is mainly determined by cancer location and stage. Patients' QoL was determined by cancer or nutrition-related factors with distinct relative weights. Due to this multidimensional construct, in which nutrition plays a major role, nutritional therapy must be integrated in early stages of the overall treatment.

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