, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 135-143

Physical activity, activity change, and their correlates in a population-based sample of colorectal cancer survivors

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Background: Physical activity can provide benefits to cancer survivors, including reduced symptoms and treatment side effects, improved overall quality of life, and decreased risk of other chronic diseases.Purpose: The aim of the study was to describe physical activity before and after diagnosis of colorectal cancer and to examine the associations with sociodemographic and disease-related variables.Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,996 colorectal cancer survivors recruited through a cancer registry.Results: In comparison to prediagnosis activity levels, there were 21% fewer participants meeting the physical activity and health guideline (150 min of moderate-intensity physical activity per week) postdiagnosis. Meeting the guideline postdiagnosis was associated with being male, living outside of the state capital city, having a higher education, having a healthy body mass index, not smoking, having had surgery only, and no reported fatigue. Attributes associated with a decrease in physical activity following diagnosis were being female, living within the state capital city, having a lower level of education, having a stoma, having adjuvant therapy, and experiencing fatigue.Conclusions: There is considerable scope for targeted interventions to increase the physical activity of colorectal cancer survivors, particularly for those groups that we have identified as being less active and/or have reduced their activity.

This project was funded by The Cancer Council Queensland. We acknowledge Mrs Monica West for her contribution to the data collection.