Health behaviours of Australian colorectal cancer survivors, compared with noncancer population controls

Hawkes, Anna L., Lynch, Brigid M., Youlden, Danny R., Owen, Neville, and Aitken, Joanne F. (2008) Health behaviours of Australian colorectal cancer survivors, compared with noncancer population controls. Supportive Care in Cancer, 16 (10). pp. 1097-1104.

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Goal: A better understanding of health behaviors after a cancer diagnosis is important, as these behaviors are related to physical functioning, disease recurrence, development of second primary cancers, and risk of other chronic diseases. Body weight and health behaviors (smoking status, alcohol consumption, and physical activity) were examined in a population-based sample of colorectal cancer survivors and compared to a matched population group.

Materials and methods: Data were collected by telephone interviews pre-diagnosis (retrospectively reported), 6 and 12 months post-diagnosis for colorectal cancer survivors (n = 1,250). Comparison data were from a population-based cancer risk survey (n = 6,277).

Results: Colorectal cancer survivors were most likely to be overweight/obese pre-diagnosis (66%) than at 6 months (54%) or 12 months post-diagnosis (61%). There was little variation from 6 to 12 months in the proportion of current smokers (7% and 8%, respectively) or high-risk drinkers (both 22%). The greatest changes were for physical activity, with 53% of survivor’s sufficiently active pre-diagnosis, 32% at 6 months, and 38% at 12 months post-diagnosis. At 12 months, colorectal cancer survivors were more likely than the comparison group to be: underweight (OR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.38–3.31); a former smoker (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.26–1.63); a low-risk (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.09–1.44) or high-risk drinker (OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.43–2.03); and insufficiently active (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.34–1.83) or inactive (OR = 2.76, 95% CI = 2.39–3.19). However, colorectal cancer survivors were significantly less likely to be a current smoker (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.54–0.85).

Conclusions: Our findings show particular scope for physical activity interventions for colorectal cancer survivors. Improving the general health of cancer survivors should help to decrease morbidity in this population and associated health system expenditure.

Item ID: 7142
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: colorectal neoplasms; cancer; health behavior; survivorship
ISSN: 1433-7339
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 04:54
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110307 Gastroenterology and Hepatology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders @ 80%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 20%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 21
Downloads: Total: 2
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