St. Louis, MO, March 1, 2010 2009 estimates projected that in the United States alone 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer would be diagnosed and 14,600 women would die of the disease. Often diagnosed in late stages, ovarian cancer has an asymptomatic onset and a relatively low 5-year survival rate of about 45%. Consequently investigation linked to survivorship is critical. A study published in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, is among the first to evaluate possible diet associations with ovarian cancer survival. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago determined that there is a strong relationship between healthy eating and prolonged survival.
The subjects included 351 women diagnosed with incident epithelial ovarian cancer who participated in a previous case-control study. The original study collected demographic, clinico-pathologic, and lifestyle-related variables including diet. Each subject completed a food frequency questionnaire where they were asked to report their usual dietary intake over the three to five years prior to their diagnosis.
To translate the diet estimates into a meaningful way, the FFQ items were assigned to the major food groups reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 (DGA) including fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, dairy, fats and oils, sweets, and alcohol. Grains, meats, and dairy were further subdivided to "suggested" and "other" groups. The "suggested" subdivisions included healthier food choices, whereas the "other" subdivisions contained less desirable selections.
The authors found that higher total fruit and vegetable consumption, and higher vegetable consumption alone led to a survival advantage. Likewise, a statistically significant improvement in survival was observed for the healthier grains. Higher intakes of less-healthy meats were associated with a survival time disadvantage.
Writing in the article, Therese A
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Elsevier Health Sciences