Weight management and its role in breast cancer rehabilitation§


  • Wendy Demark-Wahnefried PhD, RD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, Alabama
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Nutrition Sciences, 1675 University Blvd. Rm 346, Birmingham, AL 35294
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kristin L. Campbell PT, PhD,

    1. Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sandra C. Hayes PhD

    1. Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

  • The articles in this supplement were commissioned based on presentations and deliberations at a Roundtable Meeting on a Prospective Model of Care for Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, held February 24-25, 2011, at the American Cancer Society National Home Office, in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • The opinions or views expressed in this supplement are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the editors or the American Cancer Society.

  • A Prospective Surveillance Model for Rehabilitation for Women With Breast Cancer, Supplement to Cancer.

  • §

    Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms


Overweight and obesity are risk factors for postmenopausal breast cancer, and many women diagnosed with breast cancer, irrespective of menopausal status, gain weight after diagnosis. Weight management plays an important role in rehabilitation and recovery because obesity and/or weight gain may lead to poorer breast cancer prognosis, as well as prevalent comorbid conditions (eg, cardiovascular disease and diabetes), poorer surgical outcomes (eg, increased operating and recovery times, higher infection rates, and poorer healing), lymphedema, fatigue, functional decline, and poorer health and overall quality of life. Health care professionals should encourage weight management at all phases of the cancer care continuum as a means to potentially avoid adverse sequelae and late effects, as well as to improve overall health and possibly survival. Comprehensive approaches that involve dietary and behavior modification, and increased aerobic and strength training exercise have shown promise in either preventing weight gain or promoting weight loss, reducing biomarkers associated with inflammation and comorbidity, and improving lifestyle behaviors, functional status, and quality of life in this high-risk patient population. Cancer 2012;. © 2012 American Cancer Society.