Breast cancer survivors helped to lose weight and live longer

October 26, 2012

A project based at The University of Queensland is helping women who have survived breast cancer to lose weight and live healthier, longer lives.

Living Well after Breast Cancer offers women who have completed their cancer treatment the opportunity to receive ongoing support from dieticians in a personalised program over an 18-month period.

The women on the program – recruited from six Brisbane hospitals – are personally assessed and encouraged via regular phone calls to work towards their own weight loss goals through healthy eating and regular exercise.

Lead researcher Dr Marina Reeves said the project would investigate the range of that may result from weight management and an active lifestyle after .

" who maintain a healthy, active life and make good decrease their risk of other health problems like and may help to improve body image and fatigue which are common concerns after treatment," Dr Reeves said.

"But while we know that is important following treatment, we are still learning about how to best deliver assistance for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

"Telephone-based programs offer an exciting opportunity to reach out to women, especially the 30 percent of survivors who live outside of metropolitan areas and may otherwise miss out on support."

Dr Reeves said the program's counsellors encourage participants to adopt healthier habits such as walking 30 minutes daily, and decreasing portion sizes, to work towards a healthy weight.

"The focus is really on how little changes can make a big difference, and how we can support these women to make that happen," Dr Reeves said.

Participant Tania said the program saw her undergo a "complete transformation".

"Living Well after Breast Cancer helped me stop living in fear and sadness every day and own my own 'survivorship'," Tania said.

"Through regular conversations with my counsellor, we started setting personal goals focused on my overall wellbeing.

"Words can never describe how helpful this program has been to help me actually live well after breast cancer."

Dr Reeves said that results from the study will help improve the way women with are supported after their treatment is completed.

Explore further: Weight gain linked to hot flashes after breast cancer

Related Stories

Weight gain linked to hot flashes after breast cancer

March 21, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Early-stage breast cancer survivors who gain at least 10 percent of their pre-diagnosis weight are significantly more likely to report hot flashes than those who remain weight stable, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Cancer's big data problem

October 20, 2016

Data is pouring into the hands of cancer researchers, thanks to improvements in imaging, models and understanding of genetics. Today the data from a single patient's tumor in a clinical trial can add up to one terabyte—the ...

Gene fusions can lead to glioblastoma in children

October 20, 2016

Every year, about 60 children and adolescents in Germany are diagnosed with glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer, which is still mostly untreatable. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.