Preventive behaviors and behavioral risk factors among gynecologic cancer survivors: Results from the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

Steven S. Coughlin, Biplab Datta, Justin Xavier Moore, Marlo M. Vernon, Martha S. Tingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important factor in promoting positive outcomes for gynecologic cancer survivors. Methods: We examined preventive behaviors among gynecologic cancer survivors (n = 1824) and persons without a history of cancer in a cross-sectional analysis, using data from the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey (BRFSS). BRFSS is a cross-sectional telephone-based survey of U.S. residents 18 years of age and older, which collects information about health-related factors and use of preventive services. Results: The prevalence rates of colorectal cancer screening were respectively 7.9 (95% CI: 4.0–11.9) and 15.0 (95% CI: 4.0–11.9) %-points higher among gynecologic and other cancer survivors compared to that of 65.2% among those without any history of cancer. However, no differences were observed in breast cancer screening between gynecologic cancer survivors (78.5%) and respondents without any history of cancer (78.7%). Coverage of influenza vaccination among gynecologic cancer survivors were 4.0 (95% CI: 0.3–7.6) %-points higher than that of the no cancer group, but 11.6 (95% CI: 7.6–15.6) %-points lower than that of the other cancer group. Pneumonia vaccination rate among gynecologic cancer survivors, however, was not statistically different than that of other cancer survivors and respondents with no history of cancer. When examining modifiable risk behaviors, the prevalence of smoking among gynecologic cancer survivors was 12.8 (95% CI: 9.5–16.0) and 14.2 (95% CI: 10.8–17.7) %-points higher than smoking prevalence among other cancer survivors and respondents without any history of cancer. The rate differentials were even higher in rural areas, 17.4 (95% CI: 7.2–27.6) and 18.4 (95% CI: 7.4–29.4) %-points respectively. There were no differences in the prevalence of heavy drinking across the groups. Lastly, gynecologic and other cancer survivors were less likely to be physically active (Δ = −12.3, 95% CI: −15.8 to −8.8 and Δ = −6.9, 95% CI: −8.5 to −5.3, respectively) than those without any history of cancer. Conclusion: Smoking prevalence among gynecologic cancer survivors is alarmingly high. Intervention studies are needed to identify effective ways to assist gynecologic cancer survivors to quit smoking and refrain from hazardous alcohol consumption. In addition, women with gynecologic malignancies should made aware of the importance of physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15435-15446
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Medicine
Volume12
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • cervical cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • physical activity
  • preventive behaviors
  • rural residence
  • smoking
  • uterine cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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