Fitness and weight loss trial launched to help tackle breast cancer

Written by Kate Shannon on 2 May 2017 in News

The £1m scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, will be led by the University of Dundee and supported by Breast Cancer Now

Doctor: Picture credit - PA

A £1m pilot scheme has been launched with the aim of reducing women’s risk of developing breast cancer by helping them lose weight and become more active.

The scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, will be led by the University of Dundee as a research trial and supported by the charity Breast Cancer Now.

Women aged over 50 attending their routine breast screening appointments will be asked to take part in the ActWELL trial, which will run in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


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Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Prevention is a key part of our cancer strategy. We know things like weight, diet and activity levels can all significantly contribute towards your risk of developing cancer. With breast cancer risk in women over 50, the link is particularly pronounced."

Breast Cancer Now is looking for 24 volunteers to train as lifestyle coaches to support the trial.

They will work with women to help them make lasting changes focussed around physical activity, diet and weight.

Mary Allison, Breast Cancer Now’s director for Scotland said: “We’re delighted to be playing an important role in the delivery of one of the most important public health trials currently underway in Scotland. The trial has the potential to have a significant impact on reducing the risk of breast cancer in Scottish women. 

“Recruiting lifestyle coaches will be integral to the success of ActWELL. We’re looking for people with an interest in health and lifestyle. We want to attract those who are keen to make a difference to women’s lives.”

Around 4,600 women in Scotland are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and around 1,000 will lose their life to the disease.

It is estimated that 38 per cent of breast cancer cases in post-menopausal women could be prevented by lifestyle changes linked to inactivity, poor diet, alcohol consumption and weight.

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