Many aren't exercising enough or getting proper nutrition, study finds
WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors who eat more fruits and vegetables, stay physically active and avoid tobacco have a higher quality of life than those who don't do these things.
The bad news is that many cancer survivors aren't eating right and aren't exercising enough, although a good three-quarters do follow recommendations not to light up.
"We all know that living a healthy lifestyle, eating well, being physically active and not smoking reduces the risk of physical problems and improves overall physical health," said Kevin Stein, director of Quality of Life Research at the American Cancer Society's Behavioral Research Center. "Here we have additional evidence that it not only reduces disease burden but also improves emotional health and quality of life and, moreover, the effect appears to be cumulative. The more you comply, the better your quality of life."
Stein is senior author of a new study detailing the findings, published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Yet the message doesn't seem to be getting through.
"When I sit down and talk to patients about changing their lifestyle after treating them for cancer, a lot of times you're glaring into people's eyes, and they don't really believe what you're telling them," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La. "I don't think really people really grasp the importance of what they do in their lives in terms of how it affects what happens to them."
That would include behaviors engaged in both before and after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
More than 10 million Americans are cancer survivors, making them more vulnerable to other health conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and, more generally, a reduced health-related quality o
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