Cancer survivors research findings

Our funded studies help us understand the role of diet, nutrition (including body composition) & physical activity on cancer survivors

Below are the results from some of the research we have funded.

LiveWell - Development and feasibility of an intensive lifestyle intervention programme for the secondary prevention of colorectal cancer

Annie Anderson, at the University of Dundee, investigated whether a lifestyle intervention programme which has been shown to influence diabetes risk might also effect the health of colorectal cancer survivors.

The research found that the colorectal cancer survivors were interested in participating in lifestyle change and associated research. These interventions should be personalised to suit people’s abilities and methods to optimise recruitment should be considered.

A pilot study to investigate attitudes and behaviours towards food avoidance and food preference concerning Chinese cancer patients - patients', general public's, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors’ perspectives

Joseph Lau, at the University of Hong Kong, investigated attitudes and behaviours towards food avoidance and food preference in Chinese cancer patients, the Chinese general public and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors.

The research found that a high proportion of people in all three of these groups believed that food avoidance would benefit the health of cancer patients. Such beliefs are, however, not evidence-based. Few participants believed that food avoidance would cause malnutrition. These food avoidance behaviours are a potential health threat to Chinese cancer patients. As this was a small pilot study, further large-scale studies are warranted.

Changes in food and supplements consumption before and after diagnosis affecting quality of life in breast cancer survivors

Josette Sin-yee Chor, at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, investigated the association between changes in dietary intake and consumption of supplements and quality of life of breast cancer survivors.

This research showed that breast cancer patients commonly changed their diet after diagnosis, often adopting a healthier lifestyle. The study showed increased consumption of Omega-3 and decreased consumption of durian, trans-fats, tea, coffee and wine was associated with a positive change in quality of life.

The acceptability and feasibility of a diet and physical activity intervention to prevent recurrence in colorectal cancer survivors

Judy Ho, at the University of Hong Kong, looked into establishing a feasible dietary and physical activity intervention programme to reduce colorectal cancer recurrence, through lowering red meat and processed meat consumption and increasing physical activity.

The research found that bowel cancer survivors are willing to undergo lifestyle changes; however, they only have a limited knowledge of the influence of lifestyle factors on their cancer outlook. The project identified possible factors to encourage patients to change their dietary and physical activity habits. Based on the findings, the research team devised and field-tested the planned programme so that it could be tested on a wider scale in a future study. Improving knowledge of the role of dietary and physical activity habits in improving cancer outlook is essential for the success of this lifestyle-changing programme.

Feasibility study of a personally tailored distance-based multiple behaviour change intervention in colorectal cancer survivors

Alice Simon, at University College London, investigated an intervention designed to improve lifestyle behaviours in colorectal cancer survivors.

This research found the tailored, telephone-based intervention was feasible and improved diet and physical activity. Gains were seen in quality of life and fatigue was reduced. A large randomised controlled trial of this approach is warranted.