Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Guideline Is Associated With Better Health-Related Quality of Life Among Chinese Patients With Breast Cancer

J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2018 Mar;16(3):275-285. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2017.7202.


Background: The 2007 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guideline provides recommendations for cancer prevention among cancer survivors. Limited data have examined whether guideline adherence is related to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among Chinese patients with breast cancer. Methods: An ongoing prospective cohort study involving 1,462 Chinese women with early-stage breast cancer assessed exercise, diet, and body mass index (BMI) at baseline and at 18-months follow-up after diagnosis. Each assessment recorded patient habits within the previous 12 months. HRQoL was evaluated by the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30). We first compared the level of adherence to WCRF/AICR recommendations before and after cancer diagnosis. We then examined whether adherence to these recommendations after diagnosis was associated with HRQoL at 18 months. Results: The mean adherence score significantly increased from baseline (3.2; SD, 1.1) to 18-month follow-up (3.9; SD, 1.1; P<.001). Overall, increasing adherence to the WCRF/AICR guideline was associated with higher scores of global health status/quality of life (QoL; Ptrend=.011), physical (Ptrend<.001) and role functioning (Ptrend=.024), and lower scores for fatigue (Ptrend=.016), nausea and vomiting (Ptrend<.001), pain (Ptrend=.004), dyspnea (Ptrend=.030), loss of appetite (Ptrend=.007), and diarrhea (Ptrend=.020). Patients with cancer who met the BMI recommendation had higher scores for physical functioning (P=.001) and lower scores for fatigue (P=.024), pain (P<.001), and dyspnea (P=.045). Adherence to physical activity recommendation was associated with better scores of global health status/QoL (P<.001), physical functioning (P=.003), fatigue (P=.002), pain (P=.018), and dyspnea (P=.021). Higher adherence to diet recommendation was associated with lower scores of nausea and vomiting (Ptrend=.005), loss of appetite (Ptrend=.026), constipation (Ptrend=.040), and diarrhea (Ptrend=.031). Conclusions: Chinese patients with breast cancer made positive lifestyle changes early after cancer diagnosis. Increased adherence to WCRF/AICR recommendations after cancer diagnosis may improve HRQoL. Our data suggest that Chinese patients with breast cancer should follow the WCRF/AICR guideline to improve overall well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Public Health Surveillance
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires