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Endometrial Cancer Survivors’ Perceptions of Provider Obesity Counseling and Attempted Behavior Change: Are We Seizing the Moment?
  1. Leslie H. Clark, MD*,,
  2. Emily M. Ko, MD, MSCR,
  3. Amber Kernodle, MD, MPH§,
  4. Ariel Harris, BS§,
  5. Dominic T. Moore, MPH,
  6. Paola A. Gehrig, MD*, and
  7. Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, PhD*,
  1. *Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of North Carolina; and
  2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC;
  3. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; and
  4. §University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Leslie H. Clark, MD, 101 Manning Dr, CB 7572 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7572. E-mail:


Objective To determine patients’ perceptions of provider-based counseling and behavior changes made by endometrial cancer survivors.

Materials and Methods Endometrial cancer survivors (diagnosed from 2011 to 2012) from a single institution were surveyed. Exclusion criteria included persistent or recurrent disease or those actively undergoing treatment. Information collected included demographics, weight assessments, health behaviors, and physician counseling. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive statistics, Fisher exact test, McNemar test, and the κ statistic as a measure of agreement.

Results Of 233 surveys sent, 46% were returned. Median body mass index was 29.8 kg/m2 (range, 17.1–64.8 kg/m2). Comparing primary care providers with gynecologic oncologists (GOs), 47% (n = 46) versus 25% (n = 23) provided dietary counseling and 62% (n = 60) versus 37% (n = 34) provided physical activity counseling (Fisher exact test, P = 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Only 29% (n = 30) reported being told of the link between endometrial cancer and obesity. Fifty-two percent of responders attempted weight loss after their diagnosis. Fifty-nine percent of responders reported making changes in their diet. Fifty-six percent of patients made dietary changes within 3 months of diagnosis. Forty-eight percent of responders increased physical activity, with 62% implementing changes within 3 to 6 months of their diagnosis. The responders most likely to attempt weight loss were those who received counseling by a provider. All patients reporting attempted weight loss after their cancer diagnosis report being counseled by either a primary care provider or a GO to lose weight. Weight loss counseling was significantly associated with attempting weight loss (P < 0.001).

Conclusions One third of endometrial cancer survivors report counseling by their GO to lose weight. One half of endometrial cancer survivors reported attempted weight loss. All patients reporting weight loss counseling from their oncologist reported attempted weight loss. Most behavioral change occurred 3 to 6 months after a cancer diagnosis. Obesity in endometrial cancer survivors is not adequately addressed and represents a critical area for improvement.

  • Endometrial cancer
  • Survivors
  • Survey
  • Obesity
  • Weight loss

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.