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J Clin Oncol. 2016 Dec 10;34(35):4256-4260. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

American Society of Clinical Oncology Obesity Initiative: Rationale, Progress, and Future Directions.

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Jennifer A. Ligibel, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and Dana Wollins, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA.


Obesity is increasingly being linked to the risk of developing and dying from cancer. In recognition of the growing contribution of obesity to cancer risk and outcomes, ASCO made obesity and cancer one of its core initiatives in 2014. The goals of this initiative included raising awareness of the relationship between obesity and cancer, providing tools and resources to oncology providers and patients to help encourage conversations regarding weight management in cancer survivors, fostering a robust research agenda, and advocating for access to evidence-based weight management programs for cancer survivors. Efforts to date have included developing patient and provider toolkits focused on weight management and physical activity, publishing a policy statement outlining ASCO's initiatives in this area, and hosting a summit focused on obesity research in cancer populations. As ASCO has defined its priorities in the area of obesity and cancer, it has become increasingly clear that obesity is a problem that extends far beyond its impact on cancer risk and outcomes. Many groups, including those focused on heart disease, diabetes, and endocrinology, have been developing, testing, and implementing obesity prevention and treatment strategies for years. As ASCO moves forward with its obesity initiative, the next steps will focus on forging collaboration with groups working on obesity-related initiatives both within and outside of the field of cancer to learn from their efforts and to partner with them on efforts to increase the education of medical professionals; raising awareness in lay populations regarding the negative health consequences of obesity and effective strategies to foster weight loss; developing collaborative research initiatives; and working together to advocate for the societal changes that will be needed to combat the obesity epidemic in the United States and beyond.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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