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Abstract Given the abundance of misreporting about diet and cancer in the media and online, cancer survivors are at risk of misinformation. The aim of this study was to explore cancer survivors' beliefs about diet quality and cancer, the impact on their behaviour and sources of information.
Interviews were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Emergent themes highlighted that participants were aware of diet affecting risk for the development of cancer, but were less clear about its role in recurrence.
Nonetheless, their cancer diagnosis appeared to be a prompt for dietary change; predominantly to promote general health.
Participants reported that they had not generally received professional advice about cancer and genetic effects are examples of and were keen to know more, but were often unsure about information from other sources. The views of our participants suggest cancer survivors would welcome guidance from health professionals.
Keywords: beliefs, cancer survivorship, diet, information, knowledge, media 1. The mechanisms linking dietary fat intake with cancer outcomes are not well understood but are thought to be related to sex hormones such as oestrogen. On the other hand, intervention studies suggest that diet may influence outcomes indirectly via its role in energy balance Chlebowski et al.
Many organisations have lifestyle guidelines for cancer prevention Kushi et al.
Translation of "oncogenei" in English
Insufficient professional advice coupled with a desire for information may lead some cancer survivors to seek out information about diet themselves. However, when searching in popular media or online, cancer survivors are likely to encounter a wealth of information, not all of which will be reliable and accurate.
There is an abundance of media misreporting of the dietary factors that are linked to cancer risk Goldacre, that could be misleading to patients, particularly if they believe the sources to be trustworthy. However, these studies did not explore survivors' use of the media for information about diet and were conducted some time ago. Determining cancer survivors' sources of information about diet and cancer will help understand why they hold particular beliefs about these factors.
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Qualitative research enables us to capture a range of views and to explore why those views are held. Methods 2.
This also meant we would be representing a wide range of views, applicable to the wider survivorship population as opposed to focusing on a more specific group. Interviews were chosen over focus groups as we were interested in hearing about patients' individual beliefs and experiences, rather than determining a group consensus.
Telephone interviews also encouraged individuals to take part that might have otherwise been put off by a lack of flexibility around time e. A qualitative methodology was chosen because we were not seeking to test a hypothesis, but rather to obtain a rich source of information cancer and genetic effects are examples of better understand the rationale behind dietary beliefs and changes vestibular papillomatosis in pregnancy this population Holliday, During this telephone call, information was given about the study with an opportunity to ask questions.
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We aimed to recruit until it was felt that saturation had been reached. Interviews lasted approximately 1 hr, and were recorded and transcribed verbatim.
A topic guide Figure 1 was developed by HC, KW and RB to guide the interviews and consisted of a series of open questions covering beliefs about the relationship between diet and cancer, sources of information and changes to diet following cancer diagnosis. This was part of a broader interview that also covered participants' views about other lifestyle factors and cancer.
Interviewers were trained to have minimal verbal input and prompt only when appropriate Oppenheim, The topic guide was piloted with two participants whose data were included because no substantial changes were required.