Digital Public Defence: Synne-Kristin Hoffart Bøhn

M.Sc. Synne-Kristin Hoffart Bøhn at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis “Lifestyle and Adverse Effects in Selected Norwegian Cancer Patients and Survivors” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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The University of Oslo is closed and the public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent:  Senior researcher Christian Kersten, Sørlandet Sykehus
  • Second opponent: Professor Sussanne Börjeson, Linköping University
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor emeritus Erik Bautz-Holter, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Inger Holm, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

PhD Researcher Lene Thorsen, Oslo University Hospital


Cancer treatments are associated with acute and late adverse effects, which may have large negative consequences on health and quality of life. A healthy lifestyle, including adhering to public guidelines of physical activity, a healthy body weight and diet and non-smoking, may improve and preserve long-term health in cancer patients and survivors. Knowledge about lifestyle and adverse effects are lacking for many subgroups of cancer survivors.

The present thesis aimed to provide new knowledge about lifestyle and adverse effects among Norwegian prostate cancer patients and survivors of cancer diagnosed during young adulthood, based on data from two questionnaire-based cross-sectional studies.

Among the prostate cancer patients, 43% were physically inactive, with no difference in the proportion of physically inactive across treatment groups. Bowel symptoms related to radiotherapy were associated with physical inactivity.

Among the young adult cancer survivors, 43% were physically inactive, 49% overweight, 20% smoked and 92% did not eat 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Comorbidity, chronic fatigue, lymphedema, pain and depressive symptoms were associated with one or more unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.

Furthermore, 25 % of the young adult cancer survivors reported chronic fatigue. The prevalence was higher among survivors treated for breast cancer, colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (27-29%), than among survivors of localized malignant melanoma (15%). Multimodal cancer treatment, comorbidity, pain, numbness in hands/feet and depressive symptoms were associated with chronic fatigue.

The results from this thesis suggest that a large proportion of cancer patients and survivors have an unhealthy lifestyle, and that individuals with adverse effects may need extra support to obtain a healthy lifestyle. Health personnel involved in the follow-up care of cancer survivors should have knowledge about lifestyle and adverse effects.

Additional information

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Published Apr. 16, 2020 10:17 AM - Last modified Apr. 29, 2020 12:58 PM