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Behavioral Weight Loss Program Assists Breast Cancer Survivors

Clinically meaningful weight loss over two years in overweight/obese survivors of breast cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For overweight/obese survivors of breast cancer, a behavioral weight loss intervention can lead to clinically meaningful weight loss, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Cheryl L. Rock, Ph.D., R.D., from the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues conducted a multicenter trial involving 692 overweight/obese women who were, on average, two years past primary treatment for breast cancer. Participants were randomized to a group-based behavioral intervention, supplemented with telephone counseling and tailored newsletters, or a less intensive program.

The researchers found that the mean weight loss at 12 months was 6 percent of initial weight in the intervention group versus 1.5 percent in the control group. Mean weight loss in the intervention and control groups was 3.7 and 1.3 percent, respectively, at 24 months. The intervention had favorable effects on physical activity and blood pressure. Compared with younger women, the intervention was more effective among women older than 55 years.

"These findings support the need to conduct additional studies to test methods that support sustained weight loss and to examine the potential benefit of intentional weight loss on breast cancer recurrence and survival," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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