Healthy Living after Cancer

Improved early detection and treatment of our most prevalent cancers has resulted in Australia having some of the highest cancer survival rates in the world, and along with this, a growing number of cancer survivors. However, this increased survival is also associated with the presence and persistence of treatment-related side-effects, as well as increased risk for cancer recurrence and for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and functional decline.

A strong evidence base attests to the ability of regular physical activity, a healthy diet and weight control to reduce both the short- and longer-term adverse effects of cancer treatment.  However, lifestyle interventions are not incorporated into routine cancer care. It is now time for researchers to work with cancer program and policy partners to translate the evidence for lifestyle interventions in cancer survivors into practice.

Aim

The aim of this project is to evaluate the integration of an evidence-based, broad-reach (telephone-delivered) lifestyle intervention for cancer survivors, the Healthy Living after Cancer program, into the Helpline service delivery model offered by the Cancer Councils. The Helplines currently provide information and support based on consumer-initiated calls, but not a structured program of proactive out-calls to support lifestyle changes among cancer survivors, as proposed here.

The overarching goal is for the service to be systematically integrated into survivorship care. Primary outcomes are related to the program implementation: adoption, reach, retention, fidelity of program implementation and costs. Secondary outcomes are related to patient reported physical activity and dietary behaviour change, weight and quality of life.

The project will be conducted over five years in three phases.

Phase 1: Knowledge Transfer and Capacity Building (Year 1)
Phase 2: Implementation and Evaluation of the Healthy Living after Cancer program (Year 2-5)
Phase 3: Communication of Healthy Living after Cancer Program Outcomes and Development of Strategies for Sustained Funding (Year 4-5)

For further information about the study and participation, please contact Prof Sandi Hayes, sc.hayes@qut.edu.au

 Research Grants

Title of project Chief investigators Funding body Period of funding
Healthy Living after Cancer (HLaC) Prof Elizabeth Eakin (UQ),  Prof Sandi Hayes, Prof Monika Janda NHMRC partnership grant 2014-2019