Published on April 5th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Nearly Half of Cancer Survivors Eventually Die of Other Causes [Study]
Pretty much one of the most frightening health crises a person can face is a cancer diagnosis, and while survival rates are better than ever, learning one has cancer often leads to thoughts of certain death.
However, a new study aimed at “[understanding] major causes of death among cancer survivors to improve the quality of life and prolong their life” has discovered that 49% of cancer survivors die of causes other than cancer. The study’s findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, looked at data collected during two 5-6 year periods between 1988 and 2004. While 51% of the cancer survivors followed for an average of seven years died of cancer eventually, the balance of deaths came from other causes- most notably, heart disease.
Louis M. Weiner, MD is director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington DC, and he commented about the findings to Web MD. Weiner explains:
“The good news is that people who are cured of their cancer are really cured. The challenge is that people who have been through the crucible of cancer treatment and come out intact must pay more attention to other aspects of their health.”
Advice given cancer survivors is nearly exactly the same as that given to avoid cancer in the first place- smoking cessation, regular physical activity and a healthy diet.