Dietary Intervention Improves Gastrointestinal Symptoms after Treatment of Cancer in the Pelvic Organs

Mette Borre*, Janne Fassov, Jakob Lykke Poulsen, Peter Christensen, Søren Laurberg, Asbjørn Mohr Drewes, Klaus Krogh


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Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in patients receiving radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery for cancer in the pelvic organs. The aim of the present prospective cohort study was to report the efficacy of dietary intervention in patients with chronic GI sequelae to treatment of cancer in pelvic organs and insufficient symptomatic effect of medical treatment. Eighty-eight patients were offered specialist dietitian guidance. Gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life were assessed before and after intervention by validated questionnaires. The main dietary interventions were low-fat diet (n = 44; 50%), modification of dietary fiber content (n = 19; 33%), dietary restrictions with a low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet (n = 18; 20%), gluten-free diet (n = 1; 1%), and other dietary advice (n = 6; 7%). Compared to baseline, dietary intervention improved quality of life (EQ5D scale) (p < 0.01), bowel function for the last four weeks (p < 0.02), stool frequency (p < 0.03), constipation (p < 0.05), incomplete rectal emptying at defecation (p < 0.02), and performing usual activities (p < 0.0). In conclusion, this observational study using tailored dietary intervention showed that symptoms can be reduced and quality of life can be improved in patients with chronic GI sequelae following treatment of cancer in the pelvic organs not responding sufficiently to medical treatment.

TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Udgave nummer14
StatusUdgivet - 19 jul. 2023


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