Weight gain has commonly been reported among patients after breast cancer diagnosis in western countries. Based on limited data in the literature, weight gain in Asian counterparts appears to be less. In this prospective study, we investigate the weight changes among Chinese breast cancer patients during 18-month follow-up from diagnosis.
This is part of the ongoing Hong Kong NTEC-KWC Breast Cancer Survival Study (HKNKBCSS). Chinese patients with newly diagnosed early-stage breast cancer were consented. Studied patients had their weights recorded at breast cancer diagnosis (T0), at study entry (T1; within 12 months from T0) and at 18-month follow-up (T2). Potential associating factors including socio-demographic, lifestyle and clinical factors were assessed.
A total of 1265 patients had detailed weight at the 3 time-points of assessment. The mean age at diagnosis was 51.8 years. The proportion of patients who received chemotherapy, radiotherapy and endocrine therapy were 77%, 70% and 72% respectively. Compared to T0, the median weight change was -0.5 kg (range: -11.4, 18.3) at T1 and 0 kg (range: -18.6, 19.5) at T2. At T1 and T2, 2.4% and 16.1% of women respectively gained weight between 2-5kg; 0.5% and 4.7% respectively gained >5kg, while 6.1% and 24.2% of women respectively had weight loss >2kg. On univariate analysis, patients who received radiotherapy had more weight loss at T1; no significant difference in weight change was noted with other factors including socio-demographic, lifestyle and clinical factors. When comparison was made between T0 and T2, patients who did not receive radiotherapy, those who remained premenopausal at T2 and those who were underweight at T0 were significantly associated with more weight gain.
In this cohort study, weight gain was not common among Hong Kong breast cancer patients within the first 18 months post-diagnosis. The findings from the present study differ from those conducted in western patient population, in whom average reported weight gains ranged between 1.0 and 6.0 kg over the first year after breast cancer diagnosis. Funding: World Cancer Research Fund International (Grant Number WCRF 2010/249 and WCRF 2014/1197).
Joint CUHK-NTEC Clinical Research Ethics Committee and the KWC Research Ethics Committee.
World Cancer Research Fund International (Grant Number WCRF 2010/249 and WCRF 2014/1197).
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.