Lifestyle and quality of life in patients with early-stage breast cancer receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy (Di Meglio A, et al., Curr Opin Oncol. 2021 Nov 1)
In a Review published in Current Opinion, Di Meglio and colleagues analyzed the relevant literature to explore the relationship between healthy lifestyle modifications and improved well-being following endocrine therapy for early-stage breast cancer treatment.
Why it’s Important for Breast Cancer Patients
Up to 80% of breast cancers are hormone receptor-positive, meaning that the growth of cancer cells is stimulated by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Adjuvant endocrine therapies like tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors block these hormones from stimulating cancer cell growth.
These treatments reduce cancer recurrence and promote survival rates. However, they also cause side effects like fatigue, insomnia, and cognitive impairment, and may even increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer. In turn, these side effects worsen patients’ quality of life (QOL) and often lead to therapy discontinuation or reduced medication adherence.
Researchers have previously identified several factors that contribute to QOL deterioration in patients on endocrine therapy. These include sedentary behavior, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and inadequate diet.
The authors reviewed 36 articles that examined the lifestyle behaviors of women with breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy.
These articles summarized findings on the effects of physical activity, diet and nutrition, weight management, tobacco smoking, and alcohol consumption on treatment-associated side effects and patient QOL.