Do adults change their lifestyle behaviors after a cancer diagnosis?

Am J Health Behav. May-Jun 2003;27(3):246-56. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.27.3.6.


Objective: To examine changes in lifestyle behaviors after a cancer diagnosis and medical and demographic influences on such changes.

Methods: Adult cancer survivors (n = 352) completed a survey including demographic, medical, and lifestyle behavior change questions.

Results: Results showed that since cancer diagnosis, 46% of smokers quit smoking, 47% improved their dietary habits, and 30.1% exercised less. Adult cancer survivors who changed their lifestyle behaviors varied, depending on various demographic and medical variables and physician recommendation.

Conclusion: It appears from our data that cancer diagnosis in adults may have a positive influence on smoking and diet and a negative influence on exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Demography
  • Diet
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires