Diet, activity, psychosocial factors and survival from breast cancer

  • Topic: Breast Cancer
  • Institution: University of Cambridge
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Status: Completed

Scientific abstract

(View plain language abstract)

The aim of this study is to identify nutritional, physical activity factors and psychosocial circumstances associated with breast cancer survival and prognosis. In a prospective study of cancer survivors, SEARCH (Studies of Epidemiology And Risk Factors in Cancer Heredity) 7600 breast cancer patients under 70 years diagnosed with breast cancer from 2003 and at least one year previously, will be asked to complete a food diary.

Those who accept who are not on chemotherapy or radiotherapy will be sent a 7 day diary immediately, except if they have had treatment in the last 12 months, in which case the diary will be sent 12 months after the completion of treatment. Similarly, those who are currently receiving treatment will be sent a diary 12 months after completion of treatment. Participants who return the food diary will be asked to complete an activity diary and a psychosocial questionnaire. Changes in vital status will be notified by the Eastern Cancer Registration and Information Centre (ECRIC). The effects of macronutrients, foods, micronutrients and phytochemicals on survival since diagnosis, according to stage of diagnosis, pathology, surgical treatment, adjuvant therapy, age, body mass index, activity, psychosocial factors, and cancer predisposition genes will be assessed.

Plain language abstract

There is very little advice available to patients who develop breast cancer about what they should eat to avoid recurrence and improve survival, for example whether they should avoid alcohol or eat less fat or eat more soy products. Most of the advice given has been obtained from studies of healthy people who avoid developing cancer in later life, which may not be applicable to cancer patients. In this study, breast cancer patients will be approached and asked to keep a food diary for one week, in addition to an activity diary and psychosocial questionnaire adapted to cancer patients. The effects of diet, activity and psychosocial factors will be analysed in relation to how long cancer patients remain free of cancer. The findings will form the basis of advice to patients and doctors as part of treatment. Factors such as stage of diagnosis, treatment and cancer genes will be taken into account.