Radiologists should emphasize healthy habits to cancer patients

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A new study suggests that just because patients have been diagnosed with cancer, does not mean people will automatically make positive lifestyle changes, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The American Cancer Society recommends that maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and tobacco products to increase a patient's chance of survival. Not everyone knows this, though, the study said, making the case that radiologists need to better communicate such concepts to their patients.

The study, conducted at the University of Oklahoma, analyzed more than 47,000 cancer survivors and about 407,000 people without cancer, all at least 18 years old. The study was adjusted for factors like age, gender, health insurance, education and poor mental health.

For both groups, two-thirds were overweight or obese and 83 percent didn’t meet the recommended fruit and vegetable intake guidelines.

Lifestyle habits among those who those who had cancer and those who didn’t were very similar in the study, a finding that radiologists should work to correct, the researchers said.