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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Surveillance of Demographic Characteristics and Health Behaviors Among Adult Cancer Survivors

Thursday, February 9, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Surveillance Summaries
Underwood JM, Townsend JS, Stewart SL, Buchannan N, Ekwueme DU, Hawkins NA, Li J, Peaker B, Pollack LA, Richards TB, Rim SH, Rohan EA, Sabatino SA, Smith JL, Tai E, Townsend G-A, White A, Fairley TL, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. MMWR Surveillance Summaries. January 20, 2012 / 61(SS01);1-23.

This report describes demographic characteristics and health behaviors among adult cancer survivors as measured by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2009. The 2009 BRFSS included questions about previous cancer diagnoses, as well as an optional cancer survivorship module that assessed cancer treatment history and health insurance coverage for cancer survivors. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands administered the core cancer survivorship questions, and 10 states administered the optional supplemental cancer survivorship module. Results showed that 7.2% of the U.S. adult population reported having received a previous cancer diagnoses (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer). Approximately 15.1% of cancer survivors were current cigarette smokers, 27.5% were obese, and 31.5% had not engaged in any leisure-time physical activity during the past 30 days. The authors conclude that health-care providers and patients should be aware of the importance of preventive care, smoking cessation, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight for cancer survivors.

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