Cancer Survivors Need to be Advised on Healthful Lifestyle Changes

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Oncology care teams should provide guidance on lifestyle change as part of survivorship care for cancer patients.
Oncology care teams should provide guidance on lifestyle change as part of survivorship care for cancer patients.

Clinical interventions should be implemented to help cancer survivors make lifestyle behavior changes, according to research published online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues reviewed current diet and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors and the evidence supporting these recommendations.

The authors note that the Institute of Medicine endorses the importance of weight management, physical activity, and a healthful diet as components of cancer care and survivorship care.

As part of survivorship care, oncologists and oncology care teams should provide advice on lifestyle change. Healthful lifestyle changes include integration of weight management between oncology and primary care providers, receipt of specialized care to improve lifestyle behaviors, nutrition counseling, exercise training, and provision of other resources for the oncology care community and cancer survivors.

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Future research should further define the benefits of lifestyle changes in cancer survivors, and determine the most efficacious interventions and the populations that are most likely to benefit.

"As evidence supporting the role of lifestyle change in cancer populations continues to grow, infrastructure to support these programs and coverage for these services is needed to ensure that cancer patients are able to optimize cancer-specific and overall outcomes in the years after cancer diagnosis," the authors write.

Reference

  1. Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy, PhD, RD, et al. "Practical clinical interventions for diet, physical activity, and weight control in cancer survivors." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. DOI: 10.3322/caac.21265. February 13, 2015.

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