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Obesity, inactivity as common among cancer survivors as rest of Canadians, study shows
Date:4/20/2008

EdmontonNew research supported by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that many cancer survivors in Canada are overweight and inactive, which could put them at risk for health problems, including their cancer returning.

These findings tell us that we need to look at ways to better support cancer survivors to become more active and to maintain a healthy body weight, says Dr. Kerry Courneya, professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and affiliated scientist with the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation. We know that physical inactivity and obesity are risk factors for developing cancer. These are also risk factors for the recurrence of cancer. Lifestyle is just as important after diagnosis.

"A cancer diagnosis can have a profound effect on people and their families, says Heather Chappell, senior manager of Cancer Control Policy at the Canadian Cancer Society. These important findings will help in developing ways to provide effective support for cancer patients. Even small changes can make a difference for patients, such as including a moderate amount of exercise and healthy eating in their treatment and recovery period, if and when they can.

Dr. Courneya and his research team analyzed data from a 2005 Community Health Survey of more than 114,000 adults. The studythe first of its kind in Canadapublished today in the journal Cancer, showed that:

  • only about 21 per cent of cancer survivors, and about 25 per cent of Canadians in general, are physically active;

  • about 18 per cent of cancer survivors report being obese, compared to about 15 per cent of Canadians in general;

  • an additional 34 per cent of cancer survivors report being overweight, compared to about 37 per cent of Canadians in general;

  • 53 per cent of all the cancer survivors, or one in two survivors, were overweig
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Contact: Isabela C. Varela
isabela.varela@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

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