Physical activity has been associated with improved outcomes among cancer survivors of various malignancies; however, this topic is understudied among melanoma survivors. Our objective was to determine whether long-term melanoma survivors are less likely to meet American Cancer Society physical activity guidelines than non-melanoma population controls. We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2015 to follow up participants from a case–control study of melanoma and population controls in Minnesota. The primary outcome was meeting American Cancer Society recommendations for healthy physical activity levels. Physical activity, sun protection practices and time spent outside were compared between survivors and controls using generalized linear regression models. Melanoma survivors (N = 724) and controls (N = 639) were similar with the exceptions of daily hours spent outside, sun protection scores, skin tone, and smoking status. Half (50.8%) of melanoma survivors reported meeting the physical activity guidelines, compared to 39.7% of controls (p < 0.0001), with an 11% (95% CI 0.05–0.17) difference after adjusting for potential confounders. While long-term melanoma survivors were more likely to meet American Cancer Society physical activity guidelines than population controls, nearly 50% did not meet recommendations. This finding is concerning given the known improvements in quality of life and survival among physically active cancer survivors. Opportunities remain to promote physical activity among melanoma survivors. Health communications that promote outdoor exercise, in particular, should include advice about sun protection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Masonic Cancer Center of the University of Minnesota’s internal grants program (Lazovich), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, grant P30 CA77598 (PI: Yee) utilizing the Biostatistics Core, a shared resource of the Masonic Cancer Center (Vogel), and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health grant UL1TR002494 (PI: Blazar) for utilization of REDCap (Vogel). Work on this manuscript was additionally supported by the Wayne Stinchcomb Big Orange Foundation-Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award (Vogel; 568166, https://doi.org/10.48050/pc.gr.80546 ) and National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health grant T32CA163184 (Stenzel, Miller).
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
- Cancer survivors
- Physical activity
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article