Perceptions of Malaysian Colorectal Cancer Patients RegardingDietary Intake: A Qualitative Exploration


Background: Changes in dietary practices are known to be associated with changes in the health and diseasepattern of a population. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the perception of colorectal cancer patientsregarding causes of colorectal cancer and the influence of diet. Materials and
Methods: Twelve respondents fromthree major ethnicities in Malaysia were selected from the quantitative study on dietary pattern and colorectalcancer carried out earlier in this study. In-depth interviews (IDI), conducted from April until June 2012, weremainly in the Malay language with additional use of English and continued until the saturation point wasreached. All interviews were autorecorded so that verbatim transcriptions could be created.
Results: Causesof colorectal cancer were categorized into internal and external factors. The majority of respondents agreedthat there is an association between Western foods and colorectal cancer. Malaysian traditional diet was notrelated to colorectal cancer as less preservative agents were used. Malaysian diet preparation consisting of tasteof cooking (spicy, salty and sour foods) plus type of cooking (fry, grilled and smoked) were considered causesof colorectal cancer. All respondents changed their dietary pattern to healthy food after being diagnosed withcolorectal cancer. Advice from doctors regarding suitable food for colorectal cancer was useful in this regard.
Conclusions: Eating outside, use of food flavoring ingredients and preservative agents were considered to bethe main factors causing colorectal cancer. All respondents admitted that they changed to a healthy diet afterbeing diagnosed with colorectal cancer.