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


Healthy Weight, Diet, and Ovarian Cancer Survival

Ovarian cancer is among the most deadly women’s cancers. That’s because its symptoms, such as abdominal bloating, are difficult to diagnose until it has progressed to a late stage. Only 44 percent of ovarian cancer survivors live 5 years past diagnosis.

Unveiling #1 - Covered & ConfidentBut results of a new study of post-menopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative trial unveiled this week at our research conference associate higher diet quality index score in combination with physical activity with greater survival after diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Researchers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center presented these results in a poster at our conference.

The results are not yet published and has not yet gone through the peer-reviewed process.

Study author Tracy Crane, MS, RD, said of the  study, “This secondary analysis supports the ongoing LIVES study, the largest-ever randomized controlled trial (RTC) to investigate the effects of diet, weight and physical activity on ovarian cancer survival.”

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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