Changes in health behaviours and body mass index after a breast cancer diagnosis- results from a prospective cohort study

European Journal of Cancer Prevention Jul 10, 2019

Barbosa A, et al. - Via a prospective 3-year follow-up, since diagnosis, of 428 breast cancer patients, researchers focused on the shifts in health behaviours as well as body mass index (BMI) post-breast cancer diagnosis, describing the potential impact of sociodemographic, clinical and psychological features. Based on the adherence of participants to recommendations for cancer prevention, prediagnosis and following 3 years, women were grouped at the termination of follow-up. According to the findings, a decline in physical activity, being overweight or obese, and decreased consumption of fruits and/or vegetables were seen in 54.1%, 32.4%, and 6.1% of women adhering to each recommendation prior to diagnosis, however, virtually no alterations were seen in alcohol intake or smoking. Smoking cessation, decreased alcohol intake, being physically active, increased fruits and/or vegetables consumption, and decreased BMI to less than 25.0 kg/m2 were seen in 29.1%, 24.6%, 9.9%, 7.8%, and 3.3% of the women not obeying each recommendation before diagnosis. Following diagnosis, some positive shifts in health behaviours were reported among breast cancer patients. However, a huge margin for improvement still exists, pointing towards the significance of health promotion interventions in this context.
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