Cancer Research Now: Extending Cancer Survivorship Through Healthy Lifestyle Interventions

Uploaded by NCIcancerbulletin on 14.11.2011

[ Background Music ]
Alfano: There were actually requests
from breast cancer survivors
for physical activity programs
and weight loss programs.
Robinson: I was ready
to start taking charge
in my life.
Campbell: We have a chance
of improving the quality
of life among breast cancer
survivors who are
African American women.
Sween: I think it gives breast
cancer survivors,
especially African American
breast cancer survivors,
the information that they need
about how to improve their
health habits.
Sheppard: I think this is a nice way
to kind of offer women
who completed treatment
to still do something active
and feel like they can take
charge of their health
as they begin their
survivorship journey.
[ Pause ]
Alfano: There are approximately 12
million cancer survivors
in the United States alone
and that number grows
every year.
We know that cancer survivors
face a multitude of chronic
and late effects
of cancer treatment
that limit their ability
to participate fully
in their life roles
and decrease their quality
of life.
NCI's Office
of Cancer Survivorship
stimulates research
and supports research that aims
to prevent or ameliorate these
chronic and late-
late effects of cancer.
There's been an increase
in recent years in the number
of studies that NCI funds
that are devoted
to interventions
that help survivors increase
their physical activity
and decrease their weight.

[ Music ]
Robinson: I was diagnosed
with breast cancer
in February of 2008.
Well, first I had a biopsy.
I had a lumpectomy then I had
lymph nodes dissection.
I had lymphedema,
physical therapy,
6 months of chemo treatment
and about 48 sessions
of radiation.
So, the journey has been long
but somehow the end
of the road has been worth it.
I needed help.
I needed to have
that extra boost.
I knew that the lifestyle
that I currently was living
in terms of my nutrition
and exercise wasn't working.
It wasn't working,
and I was ready
to start taking charge
of my life and learning how I
could better live it
through the nutrition
and the exercise program here.
Sheppard: We're in the exercise lab
because this is
where our study takes place.
Survivors Taking on Nutrition
and Exercise.
Campbell: The study is very important
in light of the fact
that obesity is a major health
problem in the United States
but particularly among
African American black women.
Black breast cancer survivors
have an increased chance
of having a higher
mortality rate.
That is, poorer survivorship
than other populations.
So, by doing an intervention
in breast cancer survivors,
we think that by reducing the
obesity level,
we'll actually help decrease the
risk or delay their chances
of recurrence of disease.
Sheppard: There are a couple
of things I think are unique
about this study.
The first is that it's focused
on African American breast
cancer survivors
who are overweight or obese.
And secondly,
our intervention approach.
And so the intervention group
actually receives a combination
of survivor coaching by phone
and also group
intervention sessions.
Sween: So, basically women come
in, to Georgetown University,
and they're required to come
to six group sessions
over 12 weeks.
During the group sessions,
myself and the nutritionist,
we give the participants
information about nutrition
and exercise and how
to improve their physical
activity and make better
food choices.
Robinson: Usually when I come here,
we meet, and we go
over information.
Sort of like little
assignments we've had in terms
of charting what we're eating.
We have a pedometer,
you know, checking
in on how many steps we took
and then we come downstairs
and exercise.
We might exercise to,
I think one time it was
salsa tape, that was fun.
Sween: So I think people know what
to do.
It's just a matter
of getting them to do it.
And I think
that this study is something
that is helping African American
breast cancer survivors know
what they have to do
to improve their health.
Robinson: Oh, I think it's absolutely a
great help because it makes you
aware of nutrition and exercise.
That will really help you
maintain and strengthen you
after the treatment process and
moving forward with your life.
[ Background music ]
Alfano: Survivors
and their health care providers
are really looking
for interventions
that survivors can do
that take back the control
over their morbidity
and mortality risk.
Sheppard: I'm very excited
because a lot
of times we hear all
of the negative statistics
about African American women
in breast cancer,
the higher breast
cancer mortality.
And often it could feel
as if there's very little
that can be done
to prevent the higher mortality
that we see
in African American women,
and this is something
that we can do.
It's a fun study.
The team is great.
Robinson: It feels very empowering.
It feels that you're not alone.
It feels like, yes,
you can move forward
with your life
because it's such -- it's just hope.
[ Music ]