About the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study
This NCI study is designed to look at the associations among physical activity, eating
habits, weight patterns, diet, hormones, and prognostic factors for breast cancer.
Participants with early stage breast cancer were recruited through three Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)
registries - those at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, the University of New Mexico, and the University
of Southern California. Because each of these
registries draws from a distinct racial and ethnic population mix, study investigators
have a unique opportunity to examine the differences in these associations among whites,
Hispanics, and African-Americans.
NCI is particularly interested in the interplay of these lifestyle factors
because research suggests that women who are overweight, obese, or physically
inactive have a poorer survival and increased breast cancer recurrence rate
compared with lighter-weight and physically active women.1-4 Overweight, obesity, and adult weight
gain also are risk factors for postmenopausal breast cancer.5 It is thought that reducing body fat and
increasing physical activity may reduce hormone production, and may be one
potential mechanism to improve prognosis for breast cancer patients.
Women with breast cancer are at particularly high risk of developing new primary,
recurrent, disseminated, or fatal breast cancer.6,7 To date, women with breast cancer have had few options, besides
Tamoxifen therapy, to reduce this risk in the long-term.8 By identifying prognostic factors, health behavior strategies can be
developed to prevent new or recurrent disease and to prolong survival with high quality of
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