The Breast Cancer Lifestyle Intervention Pilot Study


Purpose: Weight loss after breast cancer diagnosis has been associated with a decrease in risk of breast cancer recurrence and mortality. The purpose of this study is to examine the barriers, acceptance, and sustainability of an exercise intervention program offered at our institution to overweight women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Methods: The Breast Cancer Database was queried for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2. Eligible patients participated in the Moving for Life (MFL) exercise program for 16 sessions. Questionnaires were administered. Statistical analyses included descriptives and paired t-tests to summarize patient characteristics and assess changes over time. Results: Of 40 patients, 22 declined, 18 consented and 13 (72%) completed the study. The mean age was 61 years (range: 38 - 76). The mean BMI was 31 kg/m2. After the intervention, there was a decrease in weight and BMI (p = 0.04). The average weight loss was 10 lbs. Participants reported greater enjoyment of exercise (p = 0.02) and decreased pain related to treatment (p = 0.05). These initial positive results were not maintained after 6 months and 1 year. Conclusions: The MFL intervention had a high rate of acceptance among overweight women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. These results demonstrated significant benefits of exercise immediately after cancer diagnosis and highlight the importance of developing sustainable lifestyle interventions. Interventions targeted at modifiable lifestyle factors in women with early stage disease may provide benefit that is comparable to certain adjuvant systemic therapies. Therefore, adjuvant lifestyle interventions supported by clinicians may improve breast cancer survival outcomes.

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Kern, E. , Chun, J. , Schwartz, S. , Billig, J. , Friedman, E. , Eddy, M. , Kiely, D. , Guth, A. , Axelrod, D. and Schnabel, F. (2014) The Breast Cancer Lifestyle Intervention Pilot Study. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 5, 1031-1038. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.512108.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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