Lifestyle and Weight Management Counseling in Uterine Cancer Survivors: A Study of the Uterine Cancer Action Network.

Tseng JH, Roche KL, Jernigan AM, Salani R, Bristow RE, Fader AN
Int J Gynecol Cancer 25 1285-91 09/01/2015


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences, attitudes, and preferences of uterine cancer survivors with regard to weight and lifestyle counseling.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Members of the US Uterine Cancer Action Network of the Foundation for Women's Cancer were invited to complete a 45-item, Web-based survey. Standard descriptive statistical methods and χ tests were used to analyze responses.

RESULTS: One hundred eighty (28.3%) uterine cancer survivors completed the survey. Median age was 58 years, 85% were white, and median survivorship period was 4.4 years. Most had stage I-II disease (69%) and were overweight or obese (65%). Eighty-nine percent of respondents received care by a gynecologic oncologist. Increased respondent body mass index was associated with decreased exercise frequency (P = 0.016). Only 50% of respondents underwent any weight/lifestyle counseling, with those living in the West and Southwest reporting the highest rates (70.8% and 69.2%, P = 0.011). Most who received counseling felt that discussions were motivating, performed in a sensitive manner, and did not undermine the patient-physician relationship. Specific recommendations were rarely offered; there were no reported referrals to weight loss programs or bariatric specialists, and few (6%) reported referrals to nutritionists. Respondents (85%) preferred their gynecologic oncologist address weight using direct, face-to-face counseling with specific recommendations regarding interventions and referral to specialists. Finally, self-reported overweight respondents experienced greater success with weight loss compared to those reporting obesity or morbid obesity (30.8% vs 15.8% vs 12.5%, P = 0.011).

CONCLUSIONS: Uterine cancer survivors reported high obesity, low activity rates, and a desire for substantive weight loss counseling from their gynecologic oncologists. Respondents suggested that current counseling practices are inadequate and incongruent with their needs. Further research to define optimal timing, interventional strategies, and specific recommendations for successful lifestyle changes in this population is warranted.

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