Current evidence suggests that breast cancer risk can be decreased by about 30% through lifestyle choices ( The most important factors are managing body weight through decreasing calories from food and drink and being physically active. However, it can be difficult to make changes to everyday life and sometimes a little support is needed.

The ActWELL lifestyle programme was developed in Scotland and pilot tested with 80 women who told us about their experiences of making changes, and advised us on what they liked and didn’t like in the programme. Now we need to test if our lifestyle programme can be effective in helping women achieve weight loss and increase physical activity.

During the trial period (starting in July 2017) all women attending routine NHS Breast Screening clinics in Grampian, Tayside, Lothian and Greater Glasgow and Clyde are being offered the chance to hear more about the ActWELL study. Women who are interested are invited to leave contact details for the study research nurses who will then discuss what is required and answer any questions.

Women who sign up for the trial will be asked to attend an assessment visit for measurements, questionnaires and blood samples. Women will then be placed in either the intervention or control group at random, which is the best way of testing initiatives like the ActWELL programme. There is no charge for taking part.

Those randomized to the intervention group will receive the ActWELL programme. This comprises two face to face sessions with a lifestyle coach from the charity Breast Cancer Now and up to 9 support telephone contacts over a year. Women randomised to the control group will be provided with written guidance on weight loss, then offered a personalised session with a lifestyle coach after the 12 month measurements are completed.

At the end of the study women will be invited for another assessment visit in order to measure differences after the 12 month period.

The study is being carried out by the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling.

ActWELL is funded by the Scottish Government.





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