Telephone Counseling Beneficial for Breast Cancer Survivors

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Telephone Counseling Beneficial for Breast Cancer Survivors
Telephone Counseling Beneficial for Breast Cancer Survivors

(HealthDay News) -- Telephone weight-loss counseling is similarly effective to in-person counseling for breast cancer survivors with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m², according to a study published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Maura Harrigan, R.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues randomized 100 breast cancer survivors with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m² to in-person counseling (33 participants), telephone counseling (34 participants), or usual care (33 participants). Over six months, participants in the in-person and telephone counseling groups received 11 30-minute counseling sessions that focused on reducing caloric intake, increasing physical activity, and behavioral therapy. At baseline and six months, the authors assessed body composition, physical activity, diet, and serum biomarkers.

The researchers found that the average six-month weight loss was 6.4 percent for in-person counseling, 5.4 percent for telephone counseling, and 2.0 percent for usual care (P = 0.004, 0.009, and 0.46 comparing in-person with usual care, telephone with usual care, and in-person with telephone, respectively). Women assigned to the combined weight-loss intervention groups had a significant 30 percent decrease in C-reactive protein levels, compared with a 1 percent decrease seen among women in the usual care group (P = 0.05).

"Our findings may help guide the incorporation of weight-loss counseling into breast cancer treatment and care," the authors write.

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