Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 775–782 | Cite as

Gynecological cancer survivors’ health behaviors and their associations with quality of life

  • Vanessa L. Beesley
  • Elizabeth G. Eakin
  • Monika Janda
  • Diana Battistutta
Original Paper



To evaluate health behaviors (smoking, physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake) and body mass index of gynecological cancer survivors and their association with quality of life.


We collected cross-sectional mail survey data from 802 gynecological cancer survivors (56% response rate) The questionnaire included validated measures of health behaviors, quality of life, clinical status, and demographics.


Depending on gynecological cancer subtype, 61–68% were insufficiently active or sedentary, 19–44% were obese, 31–41% had less than two daily serves of fruit, 82–89% had less than five serves of vegetables and 6–21% smoked. Significantly more endometrial than other cancer survivors were obese (44%; 95% CI 41–47%); smoking was more prevalent among cervical cancer survivors (21%; 95% CI 19–23%). Using general linear modeling we identified a positive linear trend of physical activity level with quality of life (p = 0.039). Being insufficiently active or sedentary was also associated with not meeting the guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption, with smoking and with overweight/obesity.


This research demonstrates the importance of integrating physical activity into follow-up of gynecological cancer survivors. Interventions to improve physical activity and test the causal effect of exercise on quality of life are a future research priority.


Gynecologic carcinoma Quality of life Physical activity Risk factors 



This study was funded by the Cancer Council Queensland and Queensland University of Technology. It was also made possible by access to participants via the Queensland Gynaecological Cancer Registry at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa L. Beesley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth G. Eakin
    • 3
  • Monika Janda
    • 1
  • Diana Battistutta
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, School of Public HealthQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Cancer and Population Studies GroupQueensland Institute of Medical ResearchHerstonAustralia
  3. 3.Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population HealthUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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