Urgent need for correct nutritional information for breast cancer patients.
Gwenaëlle Magis, student at the Institut Paul Lambin, received the Alpro Foundation Bachelor Award for her thesis. Doctor Anne Boucquiau, representative of the ‘Stichting tegen Kanker’ (Association against Cancer), will hand over the award during the conference “Les Journées Francophones de Nutrition”. The objective of Gwenaëlle’s thesis was to develop an information brochure with nutritional advice for breast cancer patients.
Breast cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in women; it is estimated that one in nine women will be affected by it during their lifetimes. Women who are being treated for breast cancer have many questions and actively look for information, as well as products that can help them during their treatment. Online information, however, is often contradictory. That is why there is considerable need for guidance in the form of correct information.
First of all, Gwenaëlle Magis made an inventory of the most frequently occurring concerns of breast cancer patients with regard to nutrition. She searched through various online forums for cancer patients and collected the questions they most frequently asked dieticians.
Subsequently, Gwenaëlle Magis developed a patient-friendly information brochure with nutritional advice specifically for this target group. She also made recommendations for maintaining a healthy weight and for losing weight. The brochure also debunks a number of myths, among others about soya. “A daily portion of soya is completely safe for breast cancer patients, which is clearly shown by scientific literature and associations such as the ‘Stichting tegen Kanker’”, says Gwenaëlle Magis.
In a last step, the information brochure was assessed for its accessibility, clarity and completeness by a group of patients of the university hospital Saint Luc. This clearly showed that patients are indeed in need of such an information brochure. This brochure will be further improved and expanded on with more answers to concerns raised.
Doctor Anne Boucquiau of the ‘Stichting tegen Kanker’ gave an overview presentation on the importance of nutrition and lifestyle in the prevention of cancer. Important for cancer prevention is:
- Not smoking
- Taking sufficient exercise: at least 30 minutes per day
- Restricting consumption of meat to fewer than 5 times per week
- Drinking alcohol with moderation: max. 1 glass/day (women) or max. 2 glasses/day (men)
- Eating at least 2 pieces of fruit per day
- Eating at least 3 portions of vegetables per day
- Aiming for a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (in particular little abdominal fat or stomach fat)
The Alpro Foundation Award
The Alpro Foundation gives out an annual award to a Bachelor’s thesis in Nutrition and Dietetics which takes a closer look at the impact of food on health. This award includes a prize of € 1,250.00. “We hand out this award because we noticed that there is a need for more thorough knowledge of nutrition and health”, says Doctor De Vriese of the Alpro Foundation. “By way of this Bachelor award we want to further stimulate the dietician of the future to formulate correct scientific information in a way that is accessible to all”.
The Dutch and French press release can be downloaded.