Objectives: Lack of exercise and excess body weight may exacerbate treatment-related declines in quality of life (QoL) in endometrial cancer survivors. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the associations among exercise, body weight, and QoL in a population-based sample of endometrial cancer survivors.
Methods: Participants were 386 endometrial cancer survivors residing in Alberta, Canada who completed a mailed survey that assessed self-reported exercise, height, and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) and QoL using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anemia (FACT-An) scale.
Results: Descriptive data indicated that 70% of the sample were not meeting public health exercise guidelines and 72% were overweight or obese. Multivariate analyses of variance demonstrated that endometrial cancer survivors meeting public health guidelines for exercise and body weight reported significantly better QoL than survivors not meeting guidelines. The differences in QoL between the groups were clinically meaningful and were not altered when controlling for important demographic and medical variables. There were no interactions between exercise, BMI, age, or time since diagnosis. Lastly, multiple regression analysis identified that both exercise (beta = .21; P < .001) and BMI (beta = -.17; P < .001) were independently associated with QoL.
Conclusions: These results suggest that exercise and body weight are important independent correlates of QoL in endometrial cancer survivors. Randomized controlled trials designed to test the causal effects of exercise and/or weight loss on QoL in endometrial cancer survivors are warranted.