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Cancer survivors no more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle

By News team

Surviving cancer is unlikely to motivate an individual to lead a healthier lifestyle, according to new research published today in the British Journal of Cancer (22 May 2013).

Researchers discovered that cancer survivors are no more likely to stop smoking, reduce their alcohol intake and exercise more than the general public.

They based their conclusions on the results of the first UK-funded study to track lifestyle habits of patients after, rather than before, a cancer diagnosis.

Commenting on the findings, the study’s lead author and director of Cancer Research UK’s Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College London Jane Wardle said: “Anecdotally, we often hear that a cancer diagnosis is a ‘wake-up call’, but the results from our large study show that this is not the general rule.”

The study has prompted Cancer Research UK, which funded the research, to call for more to be done to encourage cancer survivors to adopt a healthier lifestyle post-diagnosis.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11121679

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