Cancer survivors' adherence to lifestyle behavior recommendations and associations with health-related quality of life: results from the American Cancer Society's SCS-II

J Clin Oncol. 2008 May 1;26(13):2198-204. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.6217.


Purpose: To examine the prevalence and clustering of physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable consumption (5-A-Day), and smoking across six major cancer survivor groups and to identify any associations with health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Methods: A total of 9,105 survivors of six different cancers completed a national cross-sectional survey that included the lifestyle behavior questions and the RAND-36 Health Status Inventory.

Results: Only a minority of cancer survivors were meeting the 5-A-Day (14.8% to 19.1%) or PA (29.6% to 47.3%) recommendations, whereas most were meeting the smoking recommendation (82.6% to 91.6%). In terms of the lifestyle behavior clusters, only 5% of cancer survivors were meeting all three recommendations. Analyses of covariance generally showed higher HRQoL in survivors who were meeting versus not meeting each lifestyle behavior recommendation with the strongest associations emerging for PA. Trend analyses showed a steep positive association between the number of lifestyle behavior recommendations being met and HRQoL for breast (P < .001), prostate (P < .001), colorectal (P < .001), bladder (P < .001), uterine (P < .001), and skin melanoma (P < .001) cancer survivors.

Conclusion: Few cancer survivors are meeting the PA or 5-A-Day recommendations, and even fewer are meeting all three lifestyle recommendations. The association between the current lifestyle recommendations and HRQoL in cancer survivors appears to be cumulative. Interventions to increase PA and fruit and vegetable consumption and reduce smoking are warranted and may have additive effects on the HRQoL of cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • American Cancer Society
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / psychology
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Registries
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • United States
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / psychology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy
  • Uterine Neoplasms / psychology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / therapy
  • Vegetables