DESCRIPTION: (adapted from Investigator's abstract) Breast cancer is the
leading cause of cancer death in African-American (AA) women. Breast cancer
incidence is lower among AA than white women, however mortality rates are
higher. Higher body mass index (BMI), lower adherence to recommended early
detection behaviors, and lower socioeconomic status (SES) may contribute to
these higher mortality rates. AA women are at great risk for obesity with more
than 36 percent meeting the criterion for obesity (BMI 30 kg/m2). Weight gain
and abdominal adiposity during adult life, especially excess weight in the
years preceding diagnosis are increasingly recognized as important risk factors
for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Thus, reversal or prevention of
weight gain could have a striking impact on mortality in AA women. Rates of
breast screening at recommended intervals is substantially lower among AA than
white women. In addition, AA women are more likely to live in poverty and have
less access to medical care compared to white women, both of which have been
shown to influence preventive health care behaviors and the stage of breast
cancer at diagnosis. No study to date has simultaneously addressed both weight
and breast health in an integrated intervention among low SES AA women. The
proposed R21 pilot study was submitted in response to an RFA entitled
"Exploratory grants in behavioral cancer control." The specific aims are to
test the feasibility of a 20-week integrated intervention: 1) with 60
overweight low socioeconomic status AA women; 2) to produce a 7 percent weight
loss through a reduction in dietary fat and increase fruit/vegetable
consumption and physical activity and 3) to improve breast health practices
(i.e., mammography, CBE, BSE). Results will be applied to the design of a
larger intervention trial with intermediate biological endpoints.
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