- The study draws a link between a healthy, plant-based diet and a lower risk of ovarian cancer, especially for African American women.
- The research includes data from over 1000 women, showing the women who adhered to healthier diets reduced their risk of ovarian cancer by 34%.
- For postmenopausal women, the decrease in ovarian cancer risk with a healthier diet was even more significant, ranging from 43% to 51%.
- This research further highlights the importance of adopting healthier diets as a preventive measure, given the lack of reliable screening methods for ovarian cancer.
- Despite the promising findings, experts stress more comprehensive studies are needed to confirm these results, and possible inaccuracies in dietary recall should be taken into account.
A new study advocates a healthy diet as a potential tool in decreasing the risk of ovarian cancer, specifically for African American women.
“Good nutrition benefits many medical conditions and could be a key player in promoting general health,” says Bonnie Qin, a research fellow at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey. This intriguing research will be showcased in an upcoming meeting at the AACR in Atlanta.
Details of the Study
The research comprises key data from 415 African American women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and a control group of 629 without the disease. This allowed the researchers to compare their eating habits. The women with ovarian cancer provided dietary information for the year preceding their diagnosis, while those in the control group shared their eating habits from the past year.
Despite falling short of establishing direct cause and effect, the study showed that women adhering to healthier eating habits, based on U.S. government recommendations, reduced their risk of ovarian cancer by 34% compared to those who followed a diet with less healthy options.
Significance of a Healthy Diet
In postmenopausal women, the research also observed a decrease of 43% to 51% in ovarian cancer risk for those who consumed a healthier diet. This reinforces the importance of preventative measures against ovarian cancer, as currently there are no reliable screening methods for the disease, leading to late-stage diagnoses in most cases.
There is a pressing need to explore lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications, which could potentially reduce the risk, says Qin. Further research is needed to determine whether it’s the diet as a whole or specific nutrients that contribute to this reduced risk.
Dr. Stephen Rubin, Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, reviewed the study and mentioned its significance. “This research spotlights yet another reason to follow a high-quality diet, rich in vegetables, seafood, and plant proteins, but low in solid fats, alcohol, and added sugars which may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer,” said Rubin. He further advised that the study bears potential limitations due to inaccuracies in dietary recall.
The Need for Dietary Awareness
Ovarian cancer constitutes the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women. Even though African American women are less likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, their mortality rate is higher.
Research findings presented at medical meetings are usually preliminary until officially published. Therefore, more comprehensive studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Find more details about ovarian cancerhere.