Dr. Hofstatter Discusses Adherence to US Cancer Prevention Guidelines

Erin W. Hofstatter, MD, assistant professor of medicine (medical oncology), co-director, Genetic Counseling Program, Yale Cancer Center, discusses a study to determine if perceived personal breast cancer risk was associated with adherence to healthy lifestyle habit.

Erin W. Hofstatter, MD, assistant professor of medicine (medical oncology), co-director, Genetic Counseling Program, Yale Cancer Center, discusses a study to determine if perceived personal breast cancer risk was associated with adherence to healthy lifestyle habit.

Hofstatter says right now, the American Cancer Society recommends individuals eat 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day, get 75-150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week, and limit their alcohol intake to roughly one serving per day or less.

In order to determine if women who felt they were more at risk of developing breast cancer were more likely to follow the guidelines, Hofstatter and colleagues used the National Health Interview Survey.

The study showed that most women do not adhere to the US prevention guidelines at all, even if they perceive themselves to be at high risk. Hofstatter says about 95% of women are adherent to the alcohol guideline but only about a third of all women adhere to the exercise guideline. Also, only 5% or less of women were getting the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables each day.

Hofstatter says she is unsure if women know about the guidelines and are not following them or if they are unaware that exercise and diet have anything to do with breast cancer risk.