• Beliefs about weight and breast cancer: An interview study with high risk women following a 12 month weight loss intervention

      Wright, Claire E.; Harvie, Michelle N.; Howell, Anthony; Evans, D. Gareth; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Donnelly, Louise S.; University of Chester ; University Hospital of South Manchester ; University Hospital of South Manchester ; University of Manchester ; University of Chester ; University Hospital of South Manchester (BioMed Central, 2015-01-09)
      Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Lifestyle factors including excess weight contribute to risk of developing the disease. Whilst the exact links between weight and breast cancer are still emerging, it is imperative to explore how women understand these links and if these beliefs impact on successful behaviour change. Overweight/obese premenopausal women (aged 35–45) with a family history of breast cancer (lifetime risk 17–40%) were invited to a semi-structured interview following their participation in a 12 month weight loss intervention aimed at reducing their risk of breast cancer. Interviews were carried out with 9 women who successfully achieved ≥5% weight loss and 11 who were unsuccessful. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes were developed from the analysis. The first theme how women construct and understand links between weight and breast cancer risk is composed of two subthemes, the construction of weight and breast cancer risk and making sense of weight and breast cancer risk. The second theme - motivation and adherence to weight loss interventions - explains that breast cancer risk can be a motivating factor for adherence to a weight loss intervention. The final theme, acceptance of personal responsibility for health is composed of two subthemes responsibility for one’s own health and responsibility for family health through making sensible lifestyle choices.Beliefs about weight and breast cancer risk were informed by social networks, media reports and personal experiences of significant others diagnosed with breast cancer. Our study has highlighted common doubts, anxieties and questions and the importance of providing a credible rationale for weight control and weight loss which addresses individual concerns.
    • Critical research gaps and translational priorities for the successful prevention and treatment of breast cancer

      Eccles, Suzanne A.; Aboagye, Eric O.; Ali, Simak; Anderson, Annie S.; Armes, Jo; Berditchevski, Fedor; Blaydes, Jeremy P.; Brennan, Keith; Brown, Nicola J.; Bryant, Helen E.; et al. (BioMed Central, 2013-10-01)
      Introduction: Breast cancer remains a significant scientific, clinical and societal challenge. This gap analysis has reviewed and critically assessed enduring issues and new challenges emerging from recent research, and proposes strategies for translating solutions into practice. Methods More than 100 internationally recognised specialist breast cancer scientists, clinicians and healthcare professionals collaborated to address nine thematic areas: genetics, epigenetics and epidemiology; molecular pathology and cell biology; hormonal influences and endocrine therapy; imaging, detection and screening; current/novel therapies and biomarkers; drug resistance; metastasis, angiogenesis, circulating tumour cells, cancer ‘stem’ cells; risk and prevention; living with and managing breast cancer and its treatment. The groups developed summary papers through an iterative process which, following further appraisal from experts and patients, were melded into this summary account. Results The 10 major gaps identified were: (1) understanding the functions and contextual interactions of genetic and epigenetic changes in normal breast development and during malignant transformation; (2) how to implement sustainable lifestyle changes (diet, exercise and weight) and chemopreventive strategies; (3) the need for tailored screening approaches including clinically actionable tests; (4) enhancing knowledge of molecular drivers behind breast cancer subtypes, progression and metastasis; (5) understanding the molecular mechanisms of tumour heterogeneity, dormancy, de novo or acquired resistance and how to target key nodes in these dynamic processes; (6) developing validated markers for chemosensitivity and radiosensitivity; (7) understanding the optimal duration, sequencing and rational combinations of treatment for improved personalised therapy; (8) validating multimodality imaging biomarkers for minimally invasive diagnosis and monitoring of responses in primary and metastatic disease; (9) developing interventions and support to improve the survivorship experience; (10) a continuing need for clinical material for translational research derived from normal breast, blood, primary, relapsed, metastatic and drug-resistant cancers with expert bioinformatics support to maximise its utility. The proposed infrastructural enablers include enhanced resources to support clinically relevant in vitro and in vivo tumour models; improved access to appropriate, fully annotated clinical samples; extended biomarker discovery, validation and standardisation; and facilitated cross-discipline working. Conclusions With resources to conduct further high-quality targeted research focusing on the gaps identified, increased knowledge translating into improved clinical care should be achievable within five years.
    • Protocol for a systematic review of screening tools for fear of recurrent illness in common life threatening diseases

      Jones, Jenny; Kane, Paul; Polson, Rob; Leslie, Stephen J.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Simard, Sébastien; Ozakinci, Gozde; Hubbard, Gill; University of Plymouth ; University of Stirling ; Highland Health Sciences Library ; University of Stirling/Highland Heartbeat Centre ; University of Chester ; Hospital Laval, Québec ; University of St Andrews ; University of Stirling (BioMed Central, 2015-03-19)
      A myocardial infarction (MI) (‘heart attack’) can be intensely stressful, and the impact of this event can leave patients with clinically significant post-MI stress symptoms. Untreated stress can make heart disease worse. Few tools are available that screen for specific thoughts or beliefs that can trigger post-MI stress responses. In other life-threatening illnesses, fear of recurrence (FoR) of illness has been identified as a key stressor, and screening tools have been developed to identify this. The aim of this review is to identify FoR screening tools used in other common life-threatening diseases that report on the development of the tool, to assess if there are any that can be adapted for use in MI survivors so that those with high levels of FoR can be identified and helped.