American scientists conducted a study that shows that there are 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. Now they are all in remission, but cancer recurrence – the return of a malignant disease – can occur even after a few years.
Previous studies have repeatedly proven that lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity, are especially important for the long-term recovery of cancer survivors.
Energy imbalance, when energy expenditure is not equal to energy consumption, and metabolic changes after cancer treatment can directly affect the risk of cancer recurrence. After treatment, patients should be more attentive to their health, – scientists write.
The study found that most cancer survivors (56%) tend to overestimate the quality of their diet, increasing the risk of energy imbalance. They report more frequent consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lower consumption of empty calories.
Scientists analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) for 2005-2014 for 2361 cancer survivors and 23 114 participants who did not have cancer.
Professionals analyzed NHANES data in conjunction with information on the Healthy Nutrition Index, which measures dietary compliance as an indicator of nutritional quality. It turned out that the quality of the diet of people with remission has not improved over the past ten years.
In addition, the diet of people who survived cancer was generally unbalanced, although healthier than the diet of people without cancer. Despite the presence of fruits and vegetables in the diet, most often they could not independently organize their diet so that the level of proteins, fats and carbohydrates remained normal.
These components are extremely important for the body to receive all the necessary elements for health. This is especially important for patients with chronic diseases.