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NCPD Article

Healthy Behaviors: Prevalence of Uptake Among Cancer Survivors

Rachel Hirschey
Kirsten A. Nyrop
Deborah K. Mayer
CJON 2020, 24(5), 19-29 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.S2.19-29

Background: Although most cancer survivors adhere to recommendations to refrain from tobacco and minimize alcohol use, survivors of certain cancers are not meeting these recommendations. In addition, most cancer survivors do not achieve optimal recommendations for diet and physical activity, further decreasing survivor health and quality of life. Sun protective and sleep behaviors also tend to be suboptimal among survivors. Uptake of age-appropriate vaccinations is variable among survivors.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to review the prevalence of healthy behavior uptake among cancer survivors and provide nurses with an overview of effective interventions, strategies, and resources to help patients improve these behaviors.

Methods: An expert panel was convened to conduct an integrative review and synthesis on the state of the science of healthy behavior uptake among cancer survivors.

Findings: Not meeting recommendations for healthy lifestyle behaviors increases the risk of second cancers and mortality and decreases overall health and quality of life. Healthy lifestyle behaviors can contribute to improved function, quality of life, and overall survival for cancer survivors. Nurses can help survivors to understand and improve their behaviors.

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