P-0156 - The Use and the Effects of Health Functional Foods among Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients in Korea

Date 28 June 2014
Event World GI 2014
Session Poster Session
Topics Supportive Care
Gastrointestinal Cancers
Presenter Uk Kim Dong
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_2): ii14-ii104. 10.1093/annonc/mdu165
Authors U. Kim Dong1, S. Park2, A. Jang3
  • 1Pusan National University, Busan/KR
  • 2Kosin University, Busan/KR
  • 3Youngsan University, Yangsan/KR



As an adjunct to cancer treatment, the use of health functional foods (HFFs) seems to be increasing. However, little is known for the use and the effects of HFFs among cancer patients in Korea. The aims of this study were to investigate the exposure rate of HFF use among cancer patients and to evaluate the effects of HFFs.


A total of 216 patients diagnosed with cancer of esophagus (n = 20), stomach (n = 73), colon (n = 36), rectum (n = 9), liver (n = 30), pancreas (n = 22), and biliary tract (n = 26) were enrolled in this study. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using some questionnaires including HFFs, anxiety, depression, stress, and quality of life.


Over a half of all the patient surveyed (n = 118; 54.6%) used HFFs. Patients who were younger, had higher income, or longer duration of disease showed a trend to use HFFs more frequently, even though the tendency was not statistically significant. The most commonly used HFF was vitamin complex (n = 35; 10.9%), followed by red ginseng (n = 26; 8.1%), and firefly wormwood (n = 25; 7.8%). The HFFs users demonstrated decreased anxiety (5.9 vs. 7.1; p = 0.049), depression (6.7 vs. 8.1; p = 0.017), and stress (20.9 vs. 25.0; p = 0.045) compared to the HFFs non-users. However, there was no significant difference between two groups in quality of life (54.3 vs. 51.0; p = 0.306).


HHFs may affect the emotional state of cancer patients, but not quality of life. A larger sample and size-controlled groups representing each cancer type will continue to be recruited for participation in this survey.