In recent years, the health/wellness industry has mushroomed across the United States. These centers extol the virtues of physical/emotional health, conduct group workout sessions that crescendo in an almost spiritual fashion, and offer a variety of dietary programs that help users achieve the body they have always envisioned. 

In all seriousness, there is a powerful undercurrent pulsing through the popularity of these health/wellness centers. Having been blighted by a pandemic that people had little control over, individuals are now realizing that they possess the power to make strategic health decisions that help them feel better, more motivated, and more attractive. 

In the field of medical research, there appears to be a sort of a yo-yo effect, in which one study promoting the very latest advancements in medical research is followed by another that suggests that we have had the answers all along and that the key to health is the consumption of a clean diet and engagement in appropriate levels of physical exercise. 

Read more about diffuse large B-cell lymphoma etiology 

Traditional concepts of fitness (diet, exercise, and meditation) have always had a significant role to play, even in patients with advanced diseases, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a cancer that accounts for around 40% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

“Long-term lymphoma survivors could develop a series of late sequelae, mainly represented by cardiovascular, endocrine–metabolic and neurological toxicities; secondary cancers; and infertility,” Minoia and colleagues wrote. “The genesis of these late toxicities is multifactorial and could be related to 2 main groups of risk factors: (i) nonmodifiable factors: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and [autologous stem cell transplants], family history and age; and (ii) modifiable factors, such as unhealthy lifestyle factors.” 

Let us examine that statement closely. The authors of the study are saying that the genesis of late toxicities in lymphoma patients can be driven by both non-modifiable and modifiable factors, and that these modifiable factors encompass unhealthy lifestyle habits. 

Let us focus our efforts on the modifiable lifestyle behaviors that can be altered in order to improve clinical outcomes. Studies have indicated that certain lifestyle behaviors, such as maintaining normal body weight, engaging in physical activity, avoiding smoking, and consuming a high-quality diet can reduce mortality in some patients with cancer. 

In the last few years, care organizations have taken the initiative to create survivorship care plans that have the chief goal of following-up on cancer survivors in a way that is more standardized. These initiatives are also aimed at providing reassurances to patients who may need to undergo autologous/allogeneic stem cell transplants. 

In these care groups, patients gather to talk about their oncological history, the presence of comorbidities, as well the importance of cancer screenings and vaccinations. Importantly, these sessions almost always include reminders about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. In other words, there is a growing recognition of the simple power of choosing to live a healthy lifestyle in improving disease outcomes. 

Health is Wealth

In Circulation, Li and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the impact of a healthy lifestyle on life expectancies among individuals in the United States. 

Many of us in the global health space understand that there is a significant disparity between the relative wealth of the United States and the average health of its citizens. For example, Li et al pointed out that despite being among the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States merely ranks 53 in the world for life expectancy at birth in 2015. In addition, many of the diseases that utilize healthcare resources in the United States are preventable, such as cardiovascular disease. 

In this study conducted, the authors suggest that a life-expectancy gap exists between the United States and other industrialized countries, which can be closed by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Nevertheless, Americans have demonstrated a poorer adherence to a low-risk lifestyle over the last 3 decades, which coincidentally saw the sharp rise in the prevalence of obesity. 

The main point of this study is to demonstrate that a healthy lifestyle is within reach for most individuals, and that the potential health benefits of this can be deeply rewarding. Studies indicate that physical activity and weight control can significantly lower the risk of diabetes, breast cancer, and cardiovascular risk factors. 

Read more about diffuse B-cell lymphoma treatment 

Returning to the topic of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a healthy lifestyle alone is clearly not curative. However, a commitment to living healthily can improve outcomes in surprising ways. 

“This systematic review allowed us to evaluate the efficacy of the adherence to healthy lifestyles among the population of [classic Hodgkin lymphoma] and [diffuse large B-cell lymphoma] survivors,” Minoia and colleagues wrote. “It highlighted modifiable lifestyle factors which through appropriate counseling could lead to the education and empowerment of the patient.”

Minoia et al recommend that programs promoting healthy lifestyles should be implemented in earnest among patient groups in order for data to be collected about the long-term benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. If further evidence suggests that a healthy lifestyle can extend survival, patients should take notice and be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of their own health and happiness. 


Minoia C, Gerardi C, Allocati E, et al. The impact of healthy lifestyles on late sequelae in classical Hodgkin lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma survivors. A systematic review by the Fondazione Italiana LinfomiCancers (Basel). Published online June 23, 2021. doi:10.3390/cancers13133135

Li Y, Pan A, Wang DD, et al. Impact of healthy lifestyle factors on life expectancies in the US populationCirculation. Published online July 24, 2018. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032047