Last November, I went to the European Lifestyle Medicine Congress in Geneva, Switzerland. I presented some data from the VidaON Project that we have in Andalusia, Spain.
VidaON proposes a physical activity program focused on breast cancer survivors. The program involves group activities such as Nordic Walking and Deep Water Running in cooperation with the University of Seville, Spain.
Lifestyle Medicine is growing and gets more and more attention in health care. It is well established in Australia and America, and now Europe is organising Lifestyle Medicine events. The annual congress is an opportunity to share expert knowledge and promote mutual understanding among members all over Europe.
Besides the high quality discussions in the congress, and networking with different health care professionals who are interested in lifestyle medicine, receiving the Best Oral Presentation Award is a real honour for me and it motivates me to keep up the work. I must thank the University College Dublin and Oncoavanze from CATCH Project that gave me the conditions to develop my work, and especially my supervisor in Spain, Matilde Mora and all the patients.
What is Lifestyle Medicine?
“Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach to preventing, treating and even reversing diseases by replacing unhealthy behaviours with positive ones — such as eating healthfully, being physically active, managing stress, avoiding risky substance abuse, adequate sleep and having a strong support system.” – American Lifestyle Medicine Society
Bad lifestyle behaviour can lead to the development to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also presents significant positive associations with poor health among middle-aged and older European adults . In addition to presenting a higher risk of development of chronic diseases, bad lifestyle could also worsen health care conditions in patients who already have a chronic disease. For example, studies indicate that the leading cause of death among breast cancer survivors is cardiovascular disease, not breast cancer [2, 3]. This reveals the importance of treating lifestyle habits even in patients with cancer, to improve their quality of life and increase survival rate.
The study awarded in Congress indicates the benefits of Physical Activity for Breast Cancer survivors. There is evidence that adherence to physical activity recommendations could be the most important lifestyle behaviour associated with lower mortality and a higher quality of life in cancer survivors [4, 5] The study presented an improvement in muscle mass and functionality on patients that did at least 30 sessions of Deep-Water Running during 12 weeks.
As the winner of the Best Oral Presentation Award, I received free registration for this year’s Congress that will be held in Rome, Italy. I’m already looking forward to sending new results from VidaON and to visiting Rome. Last year I had a great time visiting World Health Organisation - WHO headquarters and United Nations offices in Geneva!
THANKS, see you in Rome in November.
 Linardakis M, Papadaki A, Smpokos E, Micheli K, Vozikaki M, Philalithis A. Association of Behavioral Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases With Physical and Mental Health in European Adults Aged 50 Years or Older, 2004–2005. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:150134. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.150134.
 Park NJ, Chang Y, Bender C, et al. Cardiovascular disease and mortality after breast cancer in postmenopausal women: Results from the Women’s Health Initiative. PLoS One 2017;12:e0184174.
 Schonberg MA, Marcantonio ER, Ngo L, et al. Causes of death and relative survival of older women after a breast cancer diagnosis. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:1570–1577.
 Inoue-Choi M, Robien K, Lazovich D. Adherence to the WCRF/AICR guidelines for cancer prevention is associated with lower mortality among older female cancer survivors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0054.
 Schmid D, Leitzmann MF. Association between physical activity and mortality among breast cancer and colorectal cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Oncol. 2014;doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdu012.