A £1 million pound pilot scheme to reduce the risk of breast cancer is being rolled out in Aberdeen.
Funded by the Scottish Government, ActWELL aims to work with women to help them make changes focused around physical activity, diet and weight, in a move billed as “one of the most important public health trials currently under way in Scotland.”
At the moment an estimated 38% of breast cancer cases in post-menopausal women could be prevented by lifestyle changes linked to inactivity, poor diet, alcohol consumption and weight.
Recent stats from NHS Grampian reveal 30% of the population is obese, with harmful drinking costing the region £252 million last year.
The trial, which is also talking place in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, will be offered to women aged over 50 attending their routine breast screening appointments.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said the next step of recruiting 24 volunteers to become lifestyle coaches for the trial is under way.
She said: “Prevention is a key part of our cancer strategy. By recruiting volunteers to work as lifestyle coaches, this scheme will test whether we can reduce those risks, and save women and their families from having to face up to a cancer diagnosis.”
The ActWELL pilot forms part of the Scottish Government’s £100m cancer strategy.
Should the trial be a success, it may be rolled out to other NHS Boards.
Mary Allison, Breast Cancer Now’s director for Scotland, said: “The trial has the potential to have a significant impact on reducing the risk of breast cancer in Scottish women.
“Recruiting lifestyle coaches will be integral to the success of ActWELL.
“We’re looking for people with an interest in health and lifestyle.
“We want to attract those who are keen to make a difference to women’s lives.”
Anyone interested in volunteering as a lifestyle coach as part of the initiative can get full details and an application form on the Breast Cancer Now website.
The closing date is May 12 and successful applicants will receive full training on June 12 and 13.