Cancer survivorship, mor(t)ality and lifestyle discourses on cancer prevention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite ongoing controversies regarding the impact of lifestyle factors such as body weight, diet and exercise on health, this framework has become increasingly prominent in understandings of cancer aetiology. To date, little consideration has been given to the impacts of such discourses on people with a history of cancer. Drawing on an ethnographic study of cancer survivors, I explore the constitutive dimensions of these discourses and the ways that they shape the subjectivities of women and men with a history of the disease. Overall, the study participants evidenced a complex and ambivalent engagement with such discourses. While they were generally unwilling to accept that their lifestyle had an impact on the development of their cancer, to varying degrees they endorsed the idea that weight, diet and exercise affected cancer progression. However, this acceptance was generally borne of an active desire to gain control over the uncertainty of living with the disease and was mediated by other aspects of the experience of surviving cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-64
Number of pages16
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morals
  • Neoplasms
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Sociology, Medical
  • Survivors
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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