Many Cancer Survivors Inactive and Obese
Reported April 23, 2008
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Cancer survivors may need to eat better and exercise more to keep their disease at bay.
New research finds many cancer survivors are obese and not physically active, which could make it harder to keep their cancer under control. The study shows being diagnosed with cancer does not seem to lead to significant behavior change.
Researchers in Canada analyzed data from more than 114,000 adults. They found fewer than 22 percent of Canadian cancer survivors were physically active — the lowest rates were in men and women who had survived colorectal cancer and women who survived melanoma and breast cancer. Results also show nearly one in five cancer survivors was obese, and one in three was overweight. The authors say these findings are comparable to the general population.
But there were some differences between cancer survivors and those without a history of the disease. For example, men who had survived prostate cancer were more likely to be active and less likely to be obese than those who didnt have cancer. And obese breast cancer survivors were less likely to be active compared with obese women without a history of the disease.
This finding is cause for concern because physical activity may be particularly important for obese breast cancer survivors, the authors note. Studies suggest obese breast cancer survivors who exercise more may keep the disease from recurring and improve their quality of life.
The authors conclude there should be interventions with cancer survivors to increase their physical activity and get them to eat a healthier diet.
SOURCE: CANCER, published online April 21, 2008