Breast Cancer Survivors Gain Short-term Benefits From Weight-loss Intervention

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Modest weight loss can reduce the likelihood of comorbid conditions in breast cancer survivors.
Modest weight loss can reduce the likelihood of comorbid conditions in breast cancer survivors.

Modest weight loss can reduce the likelihood of comorbid conditions in breast cancer survivors, but the benefits are not sustained over the long-term when a return to previous behavior occurs. These results were reported in Supportive Care in Cancer.1

Because weight loss can improve comorbid conditions commonly experienced by breast cancer survivors, researchers sought to determine the impact of an intervention aimed at weight loss immediately following (1 year) and 12 months later (2 years). For this secondary analysis, data from the Exercise and Nutrition to Enhance Recovery and Good Health for You (ENERGY) trial was used.  

In the ENERGY trial, 692 overweight/obese women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer were randomized to either a 12-month group-based behavioral intervention designed to achieve and maintain weight loss or to a less intensive control intervention (year 1). Minimal support was provided in the postintervention year (year 2).

Outcomes measured were new medical conditions, medical conditions in which noncancer medications were prescribed, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits, and were compared at baseline, year 1, and year 2. The researchers used chi-squared tests, Kaplan-Meier, and logistic regression analyses to analyze changes over time.

At 1 year, the women randomized to the intervention had fewer new medical conditions compared with the control group (19.6% vs 32.2%, P<.001); however, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups by 2 years. The researchers observed no difference in four conditions for which noncancer medications were prescribed, hospital visits, or emergency visits at either 1 year or 2 years.


1. Sedjo RL, Flatt SW, Byers T, et al. Impact of a behavioral weight loss intervention on comorbidities in overweight and obese breast cancer survivors [published online ahead of print March 5, 2016]. Support Care Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3141-2.

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