From our research, QIMR brings you five ways to reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by changing your diet:
- Drink four or more cups of tea every day
Lead researcher Dr Christina Nagle from QIMR’s Gynaecological Cancer Group said, “Our results indicate that drinking more than four cups a day of black, green or herbal tea may reduce ovarian cancer risk by almost 30%.” This study surveyed approximately 2,700 Australian women (half with ovarian cancer, and half without). Each woman was questioned about her diet and lifestyle, including tea drinking habits.
- Eat fish and poultry regularly
“It appears that women who eat more poultry and fish may have a 10-15% lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who eat less poultry or fish,” said Dr Penny Webb from the Gynaecological Cancer Group. “The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are thought to be good for health in many ways and may possess anti-cancer properties.”
- Eat less processed meat
“Our research suggests that women who eat processed meat several times a week have about a 20% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who eat processed meat less than once a week,” said Dr Webb.Dr Webb said researchers are still not sure how diet affects cancer risk. “There are many theories, but there is no evidence yet. Processed meat contains compounds that could damage cells and thereby cause cancer.
- Eat your veggies
In a ten year study, scientists at QIMR have determined that women who consume a higher intake of vegetables after diagnosis of ovarian cancer have a significant survival advantage.In the study, which examined 609 women with ovarian cancer, it was found that high consumption of vegetables (particularly green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower) led to increased survival rates as did the consumption of vitamin E from foods.
- Reduce the amount of cheese, yoghurt and other dairy you eat
Increased consumption of dairy products was linked to poorer survival after diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The study also found that women with a lower body mass index (slimmer women) fared better to survive after ovarian cancer than women who were overweight.