Study: Male Cancer Survivors Who are Active Live Longer

Research already shows that being active can reduce the risk of developing several cancers. Now comes a study that suggests for men, taking that brisk daily walk after a cancer diagnosis may lengthen your life.bigstock-Walking-2525305

The study was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, and it adds to a growing body of research suggesting that exercise can have significant health benefits for cancer survivors.

“The main take away message is that physical activity improves survival in men with cancer, says I-Min Lee, MD, ScD, an epidemiologist at the  Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

”There have been previous studies, examining survival in breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients, showing similar findings.  Our study included not only survivors of these cancers, but of other cancers “

For the study, Lee and her colleagues looked at data collected in 1988 from a group of about 1,000 male cancer survivors. On average the men had been diagnosed six years previously – in 1982. In 1988 the men reported on their activity habits.  They also answered questions about their weight, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, and what foods they ate. The data was updated five years later. Continue reading


From the Field: Working with Survivors for Stronger Bones

dreamstime_xs_12022463Yesterday at our research conference, one popular session focused on bone health for cancer survivors. More than 40 million adults in the US have or are at high risk for osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.

Often due to some cancer therapies, survivors are at higher risk for bone loss and osteoporosis than the general population.

Breast and prostate cancer treatments may cause low estrogen or androgen levels, two hormones important for strong bones.

Between sessions, I talked with several oncology dietitians about how they work with survivors on bone health in their centers and clinics. While not unanimous, most RDs said their patients are very aware of their increased risk for bone loss and receive DEXA screening — a test for bone mineral density — and treatment, including diet and lifestyle prescriptions as well as appropriate medications. Continue reading


Surviving Cancer: How Dietitians Navigate Their Own Recovery

canstockphoto0951598If you’ve gone through cancer treatment, perhaps you worked with a Registered Dietitian (RD) and an exercise specialist for exercise and general eating concerns. Healthful eating, along with being physically active, during treatment can help you keep up your energy level and recover more quickly.

However, side effects like fatigue, nausea and changes in taste can make those healthy habits challenging.

Although RDs don’t need personal experience with cancer treatment to help patients, as we marked Cancer Survivor Day on June 2, I wondered how RDs managed their own cancer treatment. What advice did they follow and what worked well for them?

I asked three RDs to share how they managed eating and physical activity through their own cancer treatment and recovery. Here are their words of wisdom: Continue reading