Body image

Many survivors are at risk of obesity, low bone density, and have poor body image. A healthy lifestyle involving exercise may be a first step toward minimizing these late effects of cancer. Participation in sports activities among survivors seems to be similar to the general population. Survivors who participate in sports were more likely to report having access to health insurance and medical care by a local physician, although there were no differences based on age, race, socioeconomic status, body mass index, time since diagnosis, length of treatment, and time since completed treatment [30]. Males were found to exercise more than females, a difference typically also found in the general population.

Survivors who are overweight need particularly sensitive counseling and motivation to take part in regular activity. As these problems are recognized in the general community, several community-based programs are being reported. It is likely that similar approaches will also be beneficial for survivors of cancer.

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