Don't take cancer sitting down

A new survivorship research agenda

Authors

  • Brigid M. Lynch PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Physical Activity Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. Melbourne School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Corresponding author: Brigid M. Lynch, PhD, Physical Activity Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Level 4, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne VIC 3004 Australia; Fax: (011) 61 3 8532 1100; brigid.lynch@bakeridi.edu.au

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  • David W. Dunstan PhD,

    1. Physical Activity Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    3. School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    4. School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Jeff K. Vallance PhD,

    1. Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
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  • Neville Owen PhD

    1. Melbourne School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    2. School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    3. School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    4. Behavioral Epidemiology Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

Cancer survival is associated with considerable physical and psychosocial burden. Broadly accessible, nonpharmacologic measures that may extend disease-free survival, limit comorbid disease, and enhance quality of life are required. Sedentary behavior (too much sitting) is now understood to be a health risk that is additional to, and distinct from, the hazards of too little exercise. Of particular note, it is associated with adiposity, insulin resistance, and markers of inflammation. Therefore, it is plausible that sedentary behavior may contribute to adverse cancer outcomes (disease progression, recurrence, or death) and to the development of comorbid chronic disease. Initial studies indicate that cancer survivors spend two-thirds of their waking hours sitting. Among colorectal cancer survivors, sedentary behavior may contribute to all-cause and disease-specific mortality, weight gain, comorbid cardiovascular disease, and diminished quality of life. There is a need for dose-response evidence, and for a broader understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which prolonged sitting time may affect cancer survivors' health. Cancer 2013;119:1928–1935. © 2013 American Cancer Society.

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