Self-Reported Physical Activity and Dietary Habits in Turkish Cancer Patients Receiving Radiotherapy: A Pilot Study
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatment ways for cancer. It is important to maintain patients’ general health and quality of life during the treatment. It is known that radiation-related complications have impact on the quality of life in patients. Researches revealed that a balanced diet and regular physical activity could increase quality of life in cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. In addition, determining the lifestyles in terms of health behaviors of cancer patients is indeed important in terms of optimizing their treatment outcomes and welfare. The aim of the study was to determine dietary and physical activity habits in patients receiving radiotherapy using the questionnaire. The questionnaire was composed of five sections: socio-demographic data, type of cancer, anthropometric measurements, dietary and physical activity habits. One hundred eighty-eight patients were reached during the study. Patients included in this study had different type of cancer. Only 35% (n=45) of patients reported being physically active. Sixty-eight percent of patients (n=89) skipped meal where as 31% of these patients (n=28) have skipped meals due to lack of appetite. Daily water consumption was 2 litres for 17% (n=22) patients. Most patients consumed protein foods (meat, fish, egg and beans) with 89% (n=116) and fruit-vegetables with 72% (n=93). In this study cancer-related and worse prognostic factors were determined. Our results suggested that cancer patients may require professional support and practice for nutrition and physical activity.