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A message from Army of Women

Studies suggest that women who are overweight are at increased risk of having a breast cancer recurrence. This is a problem that a group of researchers think they can do something about! Their Exercise and Nutrition to Enhance Recovery and Good Health for You (ENERGY) study was created to help breast cancer survivors develop healthy behaviors that can improve and promote long-term weight control.

We first sent a Call to Action in June to recruit 800 female breast cancer survivors to participate in the ENERGY study. The research team needs many more women to sign up! They have expanded their eligibility criteria and are now accepting women diagnosed with Stage Ic, II, IIIa, IIIb, or IIIc, who have a BMI of 25 or greater. If you match these criteria, have completed treatment, and live in San Diego, St. Louis, Birmingham, or Denver, please read on to learn more about the ENERGY study.

If this study isn’t the right fit for you, don’t stop reading just yet. We need you to think of women you know in these cities who might want to join this study. Got someone in mind? Forward the Call to Action!

What’s the study about?

This study will examine the effects of a program that was created to help overweight breast cancer survivors lose weight by increasing their physical activity level and developing healthier eating habits. A total of 800 women will be participating in this study across the United States at four research sites.

What’s involved?

If you sign up for the ENERGY study, you will be contacted by phone to answer questions about your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, medical history, and current and past physical activity. If you appear to be eligible, and if you decide to join the study, you will be asked to go to the study site for a screening visit (described below). If the screening visit confirms your eligibility and you decide to join the study, you will then be randomly assigned (like the flip of a coin) to one of two groups.

If you are assigned to Group A, the more intense program, you:

– Will be asked to participate in a group intervention program that consists of 26 structured classes over the course of one year (weekly meetings for the first 4 months, then once every other week for 2 more months, and then once a month for the remaining 6 months).

– Will receive up to 38 short telephone calls/emails over the next two years to help you reduce your food intake and achieve the desired level of physical activity.

– Will receive quarterly newsletters that are designed to help you achieve your goals as well as give you feedback on your progress and guidance.

If you are assigned to Group B, the less intense program, you:

– Will receive two consultations with a weight loss specialist and written materials that provide information about the current guidelines for weight loss and maintenance (at the beginning of the study and 6 months later).

– Will receive 6 bi-monthly group seminars on topics related to healthy living.

– Will receive monthly short telephone calls/emails over the next two years from the study staff.

All participants will be asked to participate in a clinic visit at the beginning of the study and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. This will include:

– Body measurements (weight, height, waist circumference, resting pulse and blood pressure).

– Giving a blood sample (about 2 tablespoons)

– Completing questionnaires about your health and well being, feelings and attitudes, treatment side effects, and physical activity.

– A stepping test to evaluate cardiovascular fitness. This involves stepping up and down from a bench that is 8 inches high for three minutes.

– At the San Diego site only, completing an on-line questionnaire about the food you have eaten during the previous 24 hours (only at the study entry, 6 month, and 24 month clinic visits).

You will also be asked to sign a medical release to permit the researchers to confirm your breast cancer diagnosis with your physician and to access relevant medical records.

The researchers need to enroll up to 800 women in this study.

Who is conducting the study?

Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD; Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH; Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD; Tim Byers, MD, MPH

Where?

University of California, San Diego
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Colorado, Denver

Who can participate?

You can join the ENERGY study if you match ALL of these MAIN categories:

– You are a woman 21 years of age or older

– You were diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 6 months to 5 years (not including recurrence, DCIS, or metastatic disease)

– You were diagnosed with Stage Ic, II, IIIa, IIIb, or IIIc breast cancer

– You are overweight (BMI of 25 to 45 – to calculate your BMI click here)

– You have finished all initial breast cancer treatments (i.e. Chemotherapy, Radiation, Herceptin). You may enroll if you are still taking a nonsteroidal antiestrogen (Tamoxifen).

– You do NOT have a history of other cancer types (non-melanoma skin cancer is OK)

– You are able to be physically active (You must be able to complete the 3 minute step test)

– You are NOT currently enrolled in another nutrition or weight loss study

– You are NOT currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next 2 years

– You are willing and able to attend group meetings and stay in contact with the study staff for two years

-You live near or are willing to travel (at your own expense) to one of the following locations:

o University of California, San Diego
o Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
o University of Alabama at Birmingham
o University of Colorado, Denver

After you RSVP, the research staff will contact you to ask additional questions to be sure that this study is the right fit for you.

Please note: If you have already submitted an RSVP for this study, you will not be able to RSVP again, as our system only allows ONE RSVP per study. If you think that you now qualify, please e-mail us directly at studies@armyofwomen.org to let us know that you can’t RSVP on-line and that you would like to sign up.