Female Cancer Survivors Report Worse Health Habits:
MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Female cancer survivors are
more likely to smoke and have other unhealthy behaviors than women
who have never had cancer, a new study finds.
Researchers compared nearly 20,000 women ageD 35 and older with
no history of cancer to more than 2,700 female cancer survivors.
Both groups were undergoing mammography screening for breast
Cancer survivors aged 30 to 49 had higher rates of smoking than
women with no cancer history. Cancer survivors were also less
likely to engage in strenuous exercise, and were more likely to
rate their health as "poor."
Cancer survivors were less likely, however, to drink alcohol at
least once a month.
Body-mass index (a measure of body fat based on a person's
height and weight) did not differ between the two groups, but
cancer survivors reported less weight gain than the noncancer group
over the previous five years, according to study author Sarah
Rausch, a clinical psychologist and director of integrative
medicine at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and her
The study was published in a recent issue of the
American Journal of Clinical Oncology.
It's possible that women who have survived cancer could benefit
from programs to encourage them to adopt healthier habits, the
"The differences in health behaviors between cancer survivors and those with no cancer history afford a 'teachable moment' in which a cancer survivor may be motivated to change behaviors to promote a healthier lifestyle and prevent cancer recurrence," Rausch said in a Moffitt news release.
"As the population of cancer survivors increases, the importance of health status and quality of life of cancer survivors is even more critical," Rausch said. "Approximately 10.5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with cancer. Because of the progress in cancer diagnosis and treatment, there is a growing population of cancer survivors."
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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