Diet and PA play a vital role in the development of adolescents with cancer or those who have been treated for cancer during their youth. Educating survivors on the importance of these behaviors, both for their typical development and in the context of their cancer diagnosis and treatment, is important and may help prevent both acute and late effects related to the cancer journey. While several interventions aimed at increasing diet and PA in this population have been successful, more research is needed to evaluate the long-term maintenance of health behaviors, as well as the impact these behavioral changes have on adolescents as they continue into adulthood. Future interventions should incorporate key elements of adolescent development, including individualized and specific intervention components, and peer and family support, to increase saliency and long-term commitment. Finally, collaborative efforts in the development, implementation, and evaluation of these interventions should be coordinated within the childhood cancer professional community to ensure that the greatest numbers of patients are reached with the highest impact possible.
This work has been supported in part by the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program (R25 CA047888). Ms Barnes and Dr Demark-Wahnefried have no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest to report in relation to this work.
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Source: Dove Press.