New concerns about patients lifestyle needs after cancer survival
A recent study says that even decades after being cured, many cancer survivors face physical and mental challenges resulting from their disease and its treatment.
Increasingly, cancer patients are living many years after cancer treatment, with the number of US survivors expected to top 19 million by 2024.
- While many survivors do well after treatment, some experience continuing problems that can significantly impair their quality of life well beyond the magical 5-year survival milestone. These problems and challenges can vary by the type of cancer patients had and the treatments they received.
To assess the unmet needs of cancer survivors, doctors at the University of Central Florida in Orlando looked at the responses from an American Cancer Society survey, wherein 1514 cancer survivors responded to the open-ended question, ‘
“Please tell us about any needs you have now as a cancer survivor that
ARE NOT being met to your satisfaction.”
Survivors most frequently expressed physical problems:
- 38 percent saying physical problems were an issue.
- Problems related to sexuality and incontinence among prostate cancer survivors were especially common.
- Financial problems related to the costs of treatment also persisted long after treatment for 20 percent of respondents, with Black and Hispanic survivors being especially hard-hit.
- Anxiety about recurrence was a common theme expressed by survivors regardless of the type of cancer they had or how many years they had survived cancer.
The researchers noted that improvements are needed concerning public awareness of cancer survivors’ problems, honest professional communication about the side effects of cancer, and the coordination of medical care resources to help survivors and their families cope with their lingering challenges.
Recently a combined study from the Mayo Clinic and researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center showed that women cancer survivors kept poorer health habits than women who had never had cancer. These poor health behaviors included smoking; alcohol use; lack of physical activity. Modifications in this lifestyle can help lead to longer lives.
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 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.” 1
How many of you know a relative or friend still engaged in poor health habits following cancer treatment or with a family history of cancer?
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, our goal is two-fold. First, we aim to prevent the onset of cancer. For those who have cancer, we help restore a healthy state and a sense of well-being.
Our orientation focuses on bolstering the immune-system response — that is, mobilizing, maintaining and strengthening the body’s natural defenses — and working at repairing the damage caused by cancerous cells.
We utilize high dose intravenous vitamin C, dietary changes, nutritional supplementation, hyperbaric oxygen and detoxification –and we’ve received national recognition for our pioneering work in improving the quality of life for our patients living with cancer. Our approach is one that utilizes holistic methods of healing with natural, nutrient-dense foods, herbal and botanical supplements, antioxidants, and vitamin and mineral supplements. We closely monitor the body’s cancer-fighting natural killer (NK) cells and analyze the patient’s individual antioxidant and vitamin and mineral status.
Our programs have been successful in assisting patients who are in any stage of cancer treatment, including those who are currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. In our experience, patients who elect to undergo these conventional treatments have many less side effects and have more favorable outcomes when treatment is combined with our individualized, biochemically-supportive programs.
Do you have questions about lifestyle and cancer?
Call US 856-424-8222
OR email us at: info@DrMagaziner.com
1. Moffitt Center Press Release. Study Finds Female Cancer Survivors Have Worse Health Behaviors Than Women With No Cancer History