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Weight Changes in Breast Cancer Survivors in a Nigerian Hospital: Pattern and Correlates.

BACKGROUND: One of the recognized issues faced by cancer survivors is increasing weight. Weight gain has been associated with an increased death rate in cancer survivors. Research on weight gain among breast cancer survivors (BCS) is scarce in Nigeria.

AIM: To assess the weight changes and its associated factors in breast cancer survivors (BCS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 98 breast cancer survivors attending the Radiation Oncology clinic were recruited. Sociodemographic variables, treatment history, weight at presentation, and present weight were obtained. Patients were then categorized into three groups: weight gain (>5% increase), stable weight (-5 to 5% change), or weight loss (>5% decrease).

RESULT: The present mean weight and BMI were significantly higher than at presentation (75.14±17.59 kg vs 76.88±17.42 kg, p=< 0.0001) and (28.74 ± 6.30 vs 29.42 ±6.20, < 0.0001) respectively. Only 28 (29.6%) gained weight, 65 (66.3%) maintained stable weight while 5 (5.1%) lost weight. On univariate analysis, older age, living with partners, presence of comorbidity, year of last chemotherapy less than one year, and hormonal therapy use were associated with weight gain. Multivariate analysis revealed that the presence of comorbidities, patients receiving the last chemotherapy less than a year from the time of recruitment, and hormonal therapy were independently associated with weight gain.

CONCLUSION: About a quarter of BCS gained weight. Older age, presence of comorbidity, year of last chemotherapy less than one year, and hormonal therapy use were associated with weight gain. The weight of cancer survivors should be monitored regularly during follow-up visits.

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