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Publication Detail
Availability of Information About Lifestyle for Cancer Survivors in England: A Review of Statutory and Charitable Sector Organizations and Cancer Centers.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    research-article
  • Authors:
    Williams K, Fisher A, Beeken RJ, Wardle J
  • Publication date:
    09/03/2015
  • Pagination:
    e2, ?
  • Journal:
    JMIR cancer
  • Volume:
    1
  • Issue:
    1
  • Medium:
    Electronic
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    2369-1999
  • Language:
    eng
  • Addresses:
    Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:Health behavior change following a cancer diagnosis has the potential to improve long-term outcomes. However, many patients do not receive professional advice about lifestyle and are therefore increasingly using the Internet to seek further information. The statutory and charitable sectors and cancer centers all play an important role in the provision of information and have been found to be favored by cancer survivors searching for information. However, to date there has been no systematic evaluation of the lifestyle information available online for cancer survivors. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this review was to identify the lifestyle information provided for cancer survivors by statutory and charitable sector organizations and cancer centers in the United Kingdom. We aimed to identify information on tobacco, physical activity, diet, weight, and alcohol designed for people who have been diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer. METHODS:The National Health Service (NHS) website was the focus of the search for information provided by the statutory sector. Cancer centers were identified from the Organization of European Cancer Institutes and an Internet search, and charitable sector organizations were identified by searching the Charity Commission database. The three largest generic, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer charitable organizations were included. A systematic search of the organizations was conducted to identify lifestyle information for cancer survivors. RESULTS:Ten organizations had some lifestyle information for cancer survivors on their websites. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, and Prostate Cancer UK had the most comprehensive guides, covering physical activity, diet, weight management, smoking, and alcohol. The NHS website did not provide any information but had a link to Cancer Research UK's information about diet. Eight organizations suggested talking to a health professional before making any changes. CONCLUSIONS:The majority of organizations included in this review would benefit from updating their websites to include adequate information and advice about lifestyle for cancer survivors, or they risk cancer survivors turning to less reliable sources of information. Health professionals should be appropriately trained to deal with questions about lifestyle and to advise cancer survivors about lifestyle changes following their diagnosis.
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