Physical activity has been associated with survival outcomes in people with cancer, but a study published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer revealed that nearly half of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have insufficient levels of physical activity.
For their analysis, the researchers assessed physical activity levels of 110 women with ovarian cancer at multiple time points between pre-diagnosis and two years post-diagnosis. Both numerical and categorical descriptors were used to assess the physical activity levels and change over time. The characteristics associated with physical activity levels were also explored.
The results revealed that while approximately one in two women met physical activity guidelines post-ovarian cancer diagnosis, the average physical activity levels for the cohort were below recommended levels. Women diagnosed with stage IV disease, those who were currently working, earning a lower income, receiving chemotherapy, and who were currently smoking were more likely to report lower levels of physical activity and not meet physical activity guidelines.
These findings suggest that women within the first two years post-diagnosis of ovarian cancer could benefit from targeted physical activity and exercise recommendations, which might potentially improve health, quality of life, and survival outcomes, the authors conclude.