Food intake of women survivors of breast cancer: analysis in two time periods

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to compare the dietary intake of two groups of women with breast cancer treated on different periods: 1999-2004 and 2005-2009. METHODS: This descriptive and comparative documental study collected data from the medical records of 154 patients with breast cancer treated in reference centers of Fortaleza (CE), Brazil. The following variables were studied: food intake and characterization. Sixtysix women were studied from 1999-2004 and 88 from 2005-2009. Foods consumed at least every 15 days by not less than 50% of the women were considered part of their eating habits. The prevalence of the foods consumed was calculated, and the standards of the two periods compared by the Chisquare or Fisher's exact test. The significance level was set at 5% (p<0.05). RESULTS: The dietary habits of both groups were similar but the group treated more recently consumed more milk, less carrots, mangos and cashews, and tended to consume more soybean oil. Higher intakes of milk and carrots can provide protection against recurrence, but lower consumption of fruits may increase risk. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that patients are not being properly advised, both in the past and today. Patients need to be encouraged to consume more vegetables and fruits in volume and variety, and less refined grains, fats, sugar and soda.

Breast neoplasms; Diet; Nutrition

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