Oral Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Do childhood cancer survivors achieve recommended physical activity levels? A report from the ANZCHOG Survivorship Study (#74)

David Mizrahi 1 2 , Claire E Wakefield 2 3 , David Simar 1 , Ann M Maguire 4 5 , Michael Osborn 6 , Gillian Hubbard 7 , Richard J Cohn 2 3 , Joanna E Fardell 2 3
  1. School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Behavioural Sciences Unit proudly supported by the Kids with Cancer Foundation, Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Discipline of Paediatrics, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia
  5. Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  6. Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, Australia
  7. Cancer Care Research Centre, School of Health Sciences, University of Stirling, Inverness, United Kingdom


This study aimed to assess physical activity levels in childhood cancer survivors, and investigated factors influencing whether survivors met physical activity guidelines.


We recruited parents of childhood cancer survivors aged <16, and adult survivors of childhood cancer aged ≥16. Survivors were >5 years since diagnosis, treated at 11 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. We recruited age-matched controls for comparison. We compared moderate-vigorous physical activity levels with American Cancer Society’s physical activity guidelines. We used Chi-square and t-tests to compare survivors with age-matched controls. We used logistic regression to identify factors influencing meeting physical activity guidelines.


We collected data from 914 participants, including parents of 192 child survivors (mean age=12·9±2·3 years), 378 adult survivors (mean age=26·2±7·6 years), parents of 111 age-matched child (mean age=12·3±2·7 years) and 233 adult controls (mean age=27·2±8·8 years). Parents reported child survivors to be more physically active than controls (248·4±217·6 vs. 184·8±213·6 min/week, p=0·036). There was no difference in physical activity levels between adult survivors and controls (125·4±151·8 vs. 160·5±200·7 min/week, p=0·070). Thirty-one percent of child survivors (vs. 22·7% of controls,p=0·011) and 30% of adult survivors (vs. 39·4% of controls, p=0·804) met physical activity guidelines. Survivors reduced their physical activity by 68 min/week/decade (p<0.001). Adult survivors who received radiotherapy (OR=0·585, 95%CI=0·343-0·995, p=0·048) or had not completed university (OR=1·808, 95%CI=1·071-3·053, p=0·027) were less likely to meet physical activity guidelines.


Under one-third of childhood cancer are meeting physical activity guidelines. Adult survivors of childhood cancer who received radiotherapy or with lower education appeared most at-risk for low physical activity. Physical activity is important for everyone, but more critical in childhood cancer survivors due to their increased risk of late-effects. Early monitoring and interventions targeting at-risk survivors who are not meeting physical activity guidelines are warranted to increase physical activity and subsequently minimise late-effects risks.