Original Research

The Relationship Between Zinc and Quality of Life in Patients With Upper GI Cancer on Chemotherapy

Edith A. Brutcher,(1) RN, APRN-BC, AOCNP®, Zhengjia Chen,(2) PhD, Anqi Pan,(2) MSPH Candidate, and Tiffany Barrett,(1) MS, RD, CSO, LD

(1)Department of Hematology and Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; (2)Department of Biostatistics, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Edith A. Brutcher, RN, APRN-BC, AOCNP®, Emory Winship Cancer Institute, 1365 Clifton Road, NE, Suite C2056, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail: Edith.Brutcher@emoryhealthcare.org


J Adv Pract Oncol 2017;8:338–345 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2017.8.4.3 | © 2017 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Abstract

This is a pilot study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of zinc deficiency and how zinc levels affect the quality of life (QOL) of patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers receiving systemic chemotherapy. The data collection was completed on 40 patients. Although the primary objective of a positive prevalence of zinc deficiency in upper GI cancer patients at diagnosis and after receiving chemotherapy is not statistically significant, we found a statistically significant association between zinc level and certain QOL factors. There is a significantly positive association with satisfaction of social contact at baseline only, sexual pleasure at baseline and at 2 months, QOL at baseline only, and troublesome sweating at baseline, and from baseline to 2 months corresponding with change in other skin problems. Conversely, there is a significantly negative association corresponding changes in enjoyment of physical activities, how the patient usually feels, sexual pleasure, the way in which the patient approaches food, QOL, rashes on the face, and other skin problems. Neutropenia grades were reflective of decreased zinc at baseline but did not show decreased zinc correlating with a weakened immune system.




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