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Impact of Healthy Eating Practices and Physical Activity on Quality of Life among Breast Cancer survivors

  • Mohammadi, Shooka (Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences Programmers, School of Healthcare Science, Faculty of health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) ;
  • Sulaiman, Suhaina (Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences Programmers, School of Healthcare Science, Faculty of health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) ;
  • Koon, Poh Bee (Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences Programmers, School of Healthcare Science, Faculty of health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) ;
  • Amani, Reza (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Para Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Hosseini, Seyed Mohammad (Department of Radiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2013.01.31

Abstract

Following breast cancer diagnosis, women often attempt to modify their lifestyles to improve their health and prevent recurrence. These behavioral changes typically involve diet and physical activity modification. The aim of this study was to determine association between healthy eating habits and physical activity with quality of life among Iranian breast cancer survivors. A total of 100 Iranian women, aged between 32 to 61 years were recruited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Eating practices were evaluated by a validated questionnaire modified from the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study. Physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). A standardized questionnaire by the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life and its breast cancer module (EORTC QLQ-C30/+BR-23) were applied to determine quality of life. Approximately 29% of the cancer survivors were categorized as having healthy eating practices, 34% had moderate eating practices and 37% had poor eating practices based on nutrition guidelines. The study found positive changes in the decreased intake of fast foods (90%), red meat (70%) and increased intake of fruits (85%) and vegetables (78%). Generally, breast cancer survivors with healthy eating practices had better global quality of life, social, emotional, cognitive and role functions. Results showed that only 12 women (12%) met the criteria for regular vigorous exercise, 22% had regular moderate-intensity exercise while the majority (65%) had low-intensity physical activity. Breast cancer survivors with higher level of physical activity had better emotional and cognitive functions. Healthy eating practices and physical activity can improve quality of life of cancer survivors. Health care professionals should promote good dietary habits and physical activity to improve survivor's health and quality of life.

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