The ActWELL study

A study about lowering breast cancer risk through weight loss and lifestyle changes in women aged 50 years and older in Scotland


Current evidence suggests that breast cancer risk can be decreased by about 30% through lifestyle choices.

The most important factors are managing body weight through decreasing calories from food and drink and being physically active. However, it can be difficult to make changes to everyday life and sometimes a little support is needed.

Results of the ActWELL study

Plain English Summary of ActWELL study results

We have written a summary of the ActWELL study results for study participants and BCN lifestyle coaches which you can access here: https://actwellstudy.org/actwell-study-results/

You can also download a copy of the summary here:

Watch the team present the results online in November 2020

In November 2020 all participants, coaches and other stakeholders were invited to join the ActWELL team online to hear about the results of the study. We recorded the event and here you can view it here: https://actwellstudy.org/actwell-online-event-november-2020/

Publications about the ActWELL study

Follow this link for a list of all ActWELL publications which are free to access: https://actwellstudy.org/actwell-publications/


What people involved in the study say

“My lifestyle coach was the most important part for me without her help and support I wouldn’t have done half as well.”

ActWELL participant (ID4)

“Truly it’s been wonderful, I can’t believe I’ve been given this opportunity….. I’m so grateful to you all…”

ActWELL participant (ID6)

“I was glad I was able to facilitate, I suppose, and to be there and to listen. Yes so I just thought that it was, I suppose, a privilege really to be there and that they were talking to me to be honest. So that’s probably the impact on me, it was more of a privilege to be able to help and to be in that position to be able to be, that they were able to feel they were able to talk to me about it.”

ActWELL BCN Lifestyle Coach (Coach D)


What people involved in the study say


If you have any questions or want to know more about ActWELL, please contact the ActWELL study Chief Investigator, Professor Annie Anderson


The study team would like to acknowledge the contribution made by study participants, BCN Coaching Volunteers, local leisure centres and Breast Cancer screening staff at

Noth East Scotland Breast Screening Centre, led by Gerald Lip and championed by Amanda Moss

West Scotland Breast Screening Centre team, led by Marzi Davies and championed by Jennifer Bates

East Scotland Breast Screening Centre, led by Douglas Brown and championed by Laura Sewell

South East Scotland Breast Screening Centre, led by Janet Clarke and championed by Alyson Munroe

Study registration

The study is registered on the ISRCTN registration page for clinical trials with registration number ISRCTN11057518 (Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN11057518).

The study team and funder

The study was carried out by the Universities of Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and NHS Tayside in collaboration with Breast Cancer Now. The study was funded by the Scottish Government.