Not unlike the losing battle of the bulge -- Americans talking more about preventing obesity than doing anything about it -- the same applies to most older long-term cancer survivors.Scientists had good reasons to review the data of 753 seniors (age 65 and older) who had survived five years or longer from various cancers (prostate, colorectal and breast). Few studies have documented the health habits of this age group that encompasses more than half of the 11 million cancer survivors in America.
Although all patients were interested in participating in the study, most had generally poor health habits, for example, reporting only 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each week, a fraction of the 150-minute national recommendation. Only 7 percent of the patients surveyed followed healthy diet guidelines.
The news was not completely bad, however. Patients who followed more nutritious diets and exercise plans felt better physically and had more vitality. And, even those cancer survivors who followed suboptimal health habits enjoyed a better quality of life, both physically and mentally, that exceeded those usually reported by seniors.
Learn more about surviving and thriving after cancer with these great tips from the American Cancer Society.
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