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Nutritional Assessment and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Patients Treated With Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy

Ayse Gunes Bayir, DVM;Merve Guney

Researchers have reported that issues of dietary habits have important roles in cancer prevention and development, and during cancer treatments. Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may improve the quality of life in cancer patients. However, use of some CAM types can increase or reduce the effect of treatments. This study aims to perform the nutritional assessment and usage of CAM in patients with cancer who received radiotherapy or chemotherapy (CT). Outpatients cancer patients (n = 273) receiving CT or radiotherapy in a hospital of private university were asked to complete the questionnaire including 24-hour dietary recall and usage of CAM. Obtained data were analyzed using BeBIS and SPSS software. Patients with different cancer types participated in this study. The difference for obesity rate was significantly between the patients receiving chemotherapy (44%) and radiotherapy (38%) (P = .001). Total energy and calories obtained from carbohydrates and lipids were also statistically significant between 2 groups (P = .001). Usage of CAM was significantly found in both groups (P = .001). Preference rate for the herbal CAM usage was 59% in radiotherapy and 22% in CT groups. Our results suggest that cancer patients may require professional support and practice for nutrition and use of CAM before they start their therapies.

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