The Importance of Controlling Body Weight After a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: The Role of Diet and Exercise in Breast Cancer Patient Management

  • Michelle Harvie


Overweight and obesity occur in approximately 60% of patients at diagnosis of breast cancer and a further 60–75% gain weight during treatment, including those who were previously of a healthy weight. Excess adiposity is linked to increased mortality from breast cancer and from weight-related co-morbidities (e.g. CV disease and other cancers) and is a major psychological concern to patients. Data from recent randomised controlled trials suggest that weight control can reduce breast cancer recurrence by 24%. Weight control is not a routine part of breast cancer management for the majority of patients. Successful interventions are likely to require a combined diet and exercise approach and behaviour change counselling. Current evidence suggests that weight control has the potential to improve outcome and wellbeing for breast cancer patients, although the optimum timing, composition of the diet and delivery of interventions are important considerations for future research.


Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Patient Aromatase Inhibitor Weight Control Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Hospital South ManchesterManchesterUK

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