Impact of Lifestyle Factors on Prognosis Among Breast Cancer Survivors in the USA

Rachel E Ellsworth; Allyson L Valente; Craig D Shriver; Barry Bittman; Darrell L Ellsworth


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2012;12(4):451-464. 

In This Article


A multitude of studies investigating the impact of lifestyle modification on breast cancer survivors have produced highly variable and contradictory results. Large-scale dietary studies indicate that specific dietary components may not affect breast cancer mortality, but achieving and/or maintaining a healthy bodyweight through diet provides health benefits to breast cancer survivors. A body of research has definitively linked physical activity to improved prognosis and survival in breast cancer patients. Chronic stress appears to have an adverse effect on breast cancer incidence and survival, particularly in women with the highest levels of anxiety and depression. Although the actual benefits of psychosocial interventions remain controversial, yoga has shown promising effects on psychological health. Lifestyle factors considered in this review are unlikely to exert a uniform influence on outcomes in breast cancer survivors, thus modalities such as physical activity are likely to have a more significant influence than specific dietary components such as green tea or soy. These findings illustrate the need for continued, high-­quality research into the effects of lifestyle interventions in breast cancer patients in order to provide survivors with state-of-the-art knowledge and optimum methods for improving long-term prognosis and QoL.