Good Diet May Aid Ovarian Cancer Survival
Study Shows Women With Healthy Diets Before Diagnosis Live Longer
WebMD News Archive
Comparing Food Choices continued...
Those who ate the most red meat, processed meat, and cured meat had a
briefer survival time. When the researchers looked at red meat lovers vs.
avoiders, "we found almost a threefold risk of dying for those women who ate
four or more servings of red meat a week compared to those who ate less than
one serving per week over the 11-year study period," Dolecek says.
Women who drank more milk also had a disadvantage, although Dolecek can't
"Women who had seven or more servings of milk of any type per week were two
times as likely to die during the study period as those who had none." But
Dolecek stressed that the milk finding should be interpreted cautiously. "It
may have something to do with the fact that they are genetically
Eating fruits also helped, but as a whole, high intakes of fruits and
vegetables evaluated together didn't make enough of a survival difference to be
significant from a statistical point of view, the researchers found.
It's not clear, either, exactly how a healthy diet may lengthen survival in
those with ovarian cancer, Dolecek says. "You might have a stronger immune
system," she says, Or ''your overall health status may be better."
In future research, Dolecek hopes to find out if improving the diet after
diagnosis may also boost survival. "Further research is needed to determine if
the quality of the post-diagnosis diet impacts survival," she says.
Ovarian Cancer: Lifestyle Matters
The new findings echo some from previous research, says Cynthia A. Thomson,
PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutritional sciences, medicine, and public
health at the Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, who
co-authored an editorial to accompany the new study.
''I think the message is 'lifestyle matters' -- and lifelong lifestyle
habits," she tells WebMD.
The message from the study, Thomson says, is optimistic for some. "Yes, you
may still have a difficult diagnosis to deal with, but if you go in being a
healthy eater, in the long run you may have a better prognosis and
''Ideally," she says, "we need to study this after diagnosis and find out if
they change their eating -- can they change their survival [time]."