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N Z Med J. 2012 Jun 8;125(1356):27-37.

Dietary information for colorectal cancer survivors: an unmet need.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



Observational studies have highlighted the association between diet and the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) recurrence. We aimed to identify the dietary patterns of CRC patients in our region, the level of dietary advice currently received and its impact on behaviour.


A survey was taken of an opportunistic sample of CRC patients at Dunedin and Invercargill Hospitals, New Zealand. Dietary patterns were classified according to previously utilised criteria and the level of information they had received was established.


Forty patients were recruited. No patients reported receiving dietary information from their doctor or nurse. Sixty-one percent of patients felt they received too little information. Obese patients were less likely to consider that diet was important in cancer recurrence, but were more likely to be interested in receiving dietary information than normal weight individuals. Ninety-eight percent wanted additional dietary information and 75% would consider changing their diet in response to such information.


CRC survivors reported they were prepared to change their diet following diagnosis and treatment, however they report receiving insufficient information to meet their needs. An opportunity for dietary intervention that may improve patient outcome is presently being missed. As a result of this study a comprehensive information package tailored to colorectal cancer survivors has been developed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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