Patients cite a recommendation from the oncologist and oncology team as an important factor in their decision to exercise or follow dietary advice. Yet many oncologists, while acknowledging the importance of these interventions, fail to recommend them.1,15 Simple messaging that adopts the smoking cessation 5As approach (ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange) is useful for initiating discussion and reinforcing with patients the importance of nutrition and physical activity to their long-term health.1 Tool kits available from the American Society of Clinical Oncology are available to help oncology teams build knowledge and confidence in providing physical activity and weight management counseling (http://www.asco.org/practice-research/obesity-and-cancer).

In summary, to maximize their postcancer lives, patients must be encouraged to adhere with guidelines-recommended diets. From a practice point of view, the oncology nurse is in a valuable position to work closely with patients during and after treatment to educate, encourage, and reinforce the importance of healthy lifestyles.


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Leslie Burgess is a medical writer based in Los Angeles, California.


REFERENCES

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