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Female cancer survivors have 'worse health behaviors' than women with no cancer history
Date:2/15/2012

TAMPA, Fla. A recent study conducted by researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has found that female cancer survivors receiving screening mammography have "worse health behaviors" than women receiving mammography screening and who had never had cancer.

The study was published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers surveyed 19,948 women age 35 and older presenting for screening mammography with no prior breast cancer and compared their responses of 2,713 cancer survivors, also receiving screening mammography. The two groups were compared on smoking behaviors; alcohol use; physical activity; weight status; and vitamin use.

Study results demonstrated that:

  • Cancer survivors age 30-49 had greater rates of smoking when compared with those with no cancer history.
  • Cancer survivors were less likely than those with no cancer history to use alcohol monthly or greater. Younger cancer survivors were the most frequent alcohol users.
  • Cancer survivors were less likely than those with no cancer history to engage in "strenuous exercise." Regardless of cancer history, older participants were more likely than their juniors to engage in "mild exercise."
  • Body Mass Index did not differ by cancer survivor status. However, cancer survivors reported less weight gain than the noncancer group over the last five years.
  • Cancer survivors were more likely to use more than three vitamins.
  • Cancer survivors were more likely than those with no cancer history to rate their overall health as "poor."

"These results suggest that there are opportunities for tailored behavioral health risk factor interventions for cancer survivors," said study author Sarah M. Rausch, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and director of Integrative Medicine at Moffitt. "The differences in health behaviors between cancer survivors and those with
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Contact: Ferdie De Vega
Ferdinand.DeVega@moffitt.org
813-745-7858
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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