Gynecologic cancer: weight management counseling helpful for survivors

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Takeaway
  • Most survivors of gynecologic cancer would like weight management counseling from oncologists and believe it to be effective and not deleterious.
Why this matters
  • Obesity is increasingly prevalent among cancer survivors; these data highlight the need for increased oncologist involvement in weight management counseling.
Study design
  • 244 patients with gynecologic cancer (38% endometrial, 37% ovarian, 16% cervical, 8% other) treated at an ambulatory clinic completed surveys that included health and weight history and weight management counseling perceptions; 69% were overweight/obese.
  • Funding: National Cancer Institute.
Key results
  • The majority (80%) of the cohort viewed their primary care physician as their main healthcare provider; 14% said it was their gynecologic oncologist, and 3% their obstetrician/gynecologist.
  • "While most (85–89%) survivors agreed that oncologists should discuss healthy eating, exercise, or weight loss, only 14% reported ever receiving this counseling from their oncologist, and only 6% received it routinely."
  • Among smokers, 89% "reported that their oncologists provided smoking cessation counseling"; 73% received counseling routinely.
  • 79% "believed that weight management counseling from their physician would be effective" for attempting weight loss; 59% reported "that they would not be uncomfortable, irritated, or offended" if their provider told them to lose weight.
Limitations
  • Subject to selection bias.