Diet, weight management, physical activity and Ovarian & Breast Cancer Risk in women with BRCA1/2 pathogenic Germline gene variants: systematic review

  • Adriana M. Coletta (Creator)
  • Susan K. Peterson (Creator)
  • Leticia A. Gatus (Creator)
  • Kate J. Krause (Creator)
  • Susan Marie Schembre (Creator)
  • Susan C. Gilchrist (Creator)
  • Banu K. Arun (Creator)
  • Y. Nancy You (Contributor)
  • Miguel A. Rodriguez-Bigas (Creator)
  • Larkin L. Strong (Contributor)
  • Karen Lu (Creator)
  • Karen Basen-Engquist (Creator)



Abstract Introduction Women with pathogenic germline gene variants in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 are at increased risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. While surgical and pharmacological approaches are effective for risk-reduction, it is unknown whether lifestyle approaches such as healthful dietary habits, weight management, and physical activity may also contribute to risk-reduction. We conducted a systematic review of evidence related to dietary habits, weight status/change, and physical activity on ovarian and breast cancer risk among women with BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants. Methods We searched Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL, PubMed, and up to October 3, 2019. We identified 2775 records and included 21. Results There is limited evidence related to these factors and ovarian cancer risk. For breast cancer risk, evidence suggests higher diet quality, adulthood weight-loss of ≥10 pounds, and activity during adolescence and young-adulthood may be linked with decreased risk. Higher meat intake and higher daily energy intake may be linked with increased risk. Conclusions There is not enough evidence to suggest tailored recommendations for dietary habits or weight management among women with BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants compared to the general population for ovarian and breast cancer risk-reduction, and physical activity recommendations should remain the same.
Date made available2020

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