Assessing the nutritional status and weight changes of breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the Tamale Teaching Hospital

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Weight of cancer patients including breast cancer (BC) are normally affected due to the effects of chemotherapy on food intake and body tissues from drug toxicity and tolerance or intolerance of chemotherapy as a whole. The aim of this investigation was to assess nutritional status and weight changes of BC patients receiving chemotherapy over the three periods of treatment. A prospective cohort study was conducted on 17 participants diagnosed BC, to collect data on three different occasions. Anthropometric parameters and nutritional food habits and food groups’ diversity were assessed using biomedical impudence machine and Food and Agricultural Organizational food diversity questionnaire on dietary diversity (WDDS). Biochemical profile data (haemoglobin and albumin) were obtained from patient’s file. The mean age of participants was found to be 43 (13.2) years. Patients were made of 23.5% businesswomen or traders, housewives (29.4%) and majority of 64.7% had no formal education, 17.6% who were educated at the tertiary level. Mean height of participants was 1.64 ± 0.07 m, and the mean weight had increased from 68.5 ± 21.20 kg to 69.3 ± 20.95 kg before chemotherapy and after second cycle treatment. A change in weight with mean of 0.99 ± 1.8 kg was observed. After second cycle of treatment the body mass index of six (6) and waist circumference of eight (8) respondents were at risk for comorbidities, breast cancer recurrence and cardiovascular diseases though thirteen (13) had normal level of skeletal muscle. Association was found between height and weight change. Means of haemoglobin and albumin were respectively recorded as 11.5 (1.1 g/dl) and 42.1 (9.0 g/l) after second cycle chemotherapy; three and two respondents had haemoglobin and albumin levels lower than normal (< 10.0 g/dl) and (< 35.0 g/l,) respectively after the second cycle treatment. Most (16; 94.1%) respondents consumed grains or starchy staple foods, legumes, nuts and seeds, meat, and 12 (70.6%) used dark green vegetables. Less than half of the sample 29.4%, 23.5%, and 41.1%, respectively, consumed milk and its products, vitamin A-rich vegetables and fruits, and other fruits and vegetables after second cycle chemotherapy. The change in weight after treatment had correlation with some anthropometric parameters such as height, body mass index, waist circumference and body fat
A thesis presented to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biosciences, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutritional status, Weight changes, Breast cancer patients, Patients, TTH