A new study conducted by researchers at Drexel University and Johns Hopkins University shows evidence that survivors of mesothelioma and other cancers may not be following a diet that will keep them healthy for the rest of their lives.
The study, carried outwritten by Dr. Ann Carroll Klassen from the Dornsife School of Public Health, analyzsed the dietary information from 53 adult cancer survivors. The subjects were survivors of one of threevarious cancers:, including breast, prostate, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL). They were asked to record their diet over three 24-hour periods, and this information was analyzed by researchers.
The results from their findings were used to classify each participant on two metrics of healthy eating. The first metric was a measure of dietary quality developed by the U.S. government called the Healthy Eating Index 2010, and the second was a nine9-item index based on current dietary recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
From these results, researchers found that many survivors were not adequately prepared to go on a cancer-preventing diet for the rest of their lives in order to decrease risk of cancer recurrence. A common problemthing among evaluatedall survivors was a lack of guidance in helping to maintaining healthy survivorship, especially after active treatment had come to an end. Survivors frequently had There iswas little knowledge of the links between diet and cancer and. eEven less understanding of how a change in diet can reduce the risk of cancer returning. that changing your diet significantly can help reduce risk of the cancer returning.
“Most survivors had received little nutrition counseling as part of their cancer care, highlighting the importance of holistic, household-oriented nutrition education for maintaining health among long-term cancer survivors,” the study concludedconcludes Dr. Klassen.
An in-depth look at the study illustrates that somemany survivors reported that theire cancer diagnosis wasas being a wake-up call to makeand did make made changes to their diets. At the same time, just as many reported that they gave upletting go of dietary restrictions and rejectedting health rules they had observed prior to their diagnosis, since a healthy lifestylesince they haddid not prevented them from getting cancer.
Results found that survivors with healthier diets tended to be women, are of a normal weight, havehad more years since diagnosis, have nono smoking history, and havehad more a better socioeconomic standingresources.
When looking at eating patterns and different cancer typesPlus, researchers found that breast cancer and NHL survivors had reported healthier eating patterns thanas compared to prostate cancer survivors for the most part.
TEach of the survivors’ results from the study were used to initiate a discussion about topics like healthy eating, dietary behaviors, the importance of diet in cancer prevention and survivorship, and the importance of household members in dietary decision making.
Seventy-seven percentA percentage of the survivors lived with at least one person. It was found that family members and/or significant others influenced participants’ commitment to healthy diets, both negatively and positivelyhad a huge influence on whether or not the survivor ate healthier or not. Female survivors often reported that their partner was the primary cook of the household, and that adopting dietary changes required convincing their partner to adhere to the diet as well. When household members also had dietary restrictions, this could result in support for the cancer survivors, or in more difficulty in planning a diet that met the household’s combined needs.If other people in the house were involved diet decision-making, survivorsthey tended to eat a better diet.
More information on the Dornsife School of Public Health can be found on their website: http://drexel.edu/dornsife/