Scots researchers explore breast cancer diet link

A NEW study has been launched by Scottish researchers to test whether a special weight loss diet can help prevent breast cancer survivors suffering a recurrence of the disease.

The research will test if a special weight loss diet can help prevent recurrences of breast cancer. Picture: Getty

It is known obesity or weight gain following treatment increases the likelihood of the cancer returning.

Now scientists at Aberdeen University’s world-renowned Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health have developed a dietary plan they believe could aid weight loss in post-treatment patients.

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And a call for breast cancer survivors to volunteer for the dietary study is being launched as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Professor Steve Heys, Cancer Research Programme Leader at Aberdeen University is leading the research alongside Dr Alex Johnstone from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

He said: “We know obesity and weight gain following treatment for breast cancer significantly increases the chances of it coming back. What we are aiming to do is pinpoint a healthy diet which is satiating, tasty and supports weight loss, and thereafter maintenance, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning.

“We are seeking women who are obese or have gained weight since their diagnosis, and are at least 6 months post completion of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, to take part in the study.”

Volunteers will be provided with all of their meals over the course of the six week study, and will be required to visit the Rowett Institute in Bucksburn three times where measurements and blood tests will be taken.

Dr Johnstone said: “We believe the diet we have developed uses a combination of foods which optimise how full a person feels and allows them to lose weight steadily and healthily. We’ll be asking volunteers to eat a calorie-controlled diet that includes main meals and healthy snacks.

“Our hope is that the information we gain from the study could, in the long-term, be used within guidance supporting patients who have undergone breast cancer treatment to maintain their health.”