Oncologists don’t focus on lifestyle risk

According to a survey of doctors conducted by Dr. Bonnie Spring, a professor of preventive medicine, psychiatry, psychology and public health and director of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, cancer specialists only rarely advise patients on lifestyle changes that could improve overall health and possibly also reduce the risk of recurrence.

The survey of doctors from a Midwestern health system found that oncologists were far less likely than primary care physicians to offer advice on health promotion strategies, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, researchers reported in the journal Cancer.