Cancer survivors at increased risk of disability, study finds

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Elderly women who are cancer survivors are at greater risk of some functional limitations, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers who examined data from nearly 26,000 women with a median age of 72 found that cancer survivors were more likely to report trouble doing heavy household work than those who had not suffered from the disease — 43% compared with 31%, respectively. Also, cancer survivors were more likely to be unable to walk a half-mile or walk up and down stairs.

The findings underscore the need for interventions "to prevent and reverse functional decline among elderly long-term cancer survivors," wrote a team of University of Utah researchers. Their study report is published in current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.