A Systematic Review: Dietary Habits of Women with Gynecological Cancer before, during and after Treatment

Ann Muls*, Claudia Cirillo Sanchez, Christine Norton, Wladzia Czuber-Dochan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Cancer treatment can affect eating habits and some patients treated with pelvic radiotherapy develop chronic changes in their bowel function which may impact on dietary intake. This systematic review summarizes current research on dietary habits before, during and after treatment in women with a gynecological malignancy. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PubMed databases were searched until August 1, 2019, with no language restrictions. PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews were used to ensure transparent and complete reporting (Liberati et al., 2009). Quantitative studies exploring dietary habits before, during or after treatment for gynecological cancer were included. Results: Three prospective cohort studies (98 participants) were included. All patients were treated with radiotherapy; some also had surgery and chemotherapy. Studies reported similar changes in weight, BMI and energy intake and found that patients lose weight during treatment, but this was not long-lasting. Long-term results suggest that fat and protein intake increase significantly (p < 0.01). There was no correlation of symptoms with any nutritional parameters. Conclusion: Evidence from three studies suggests further studies including long-term assessment of dietary intake in women treated for a gynecological malignancy are warranted to explore the impact of cancer treatments on dietary intake and its relation to developing long-term gastrointestinal toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


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