A healthy diet prior to a diagnosis may reduce the risk of mortality after ovarian cancer according to a new study published last week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
To evaluate diet quality and the influence of diet on survival, Cynthia Thomson and colleagues from the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the University of Arizona Cancer Center (AZ, USA) analyzed data from 636 cases of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women obtained from 1993 to 1998. The team assessed dietary intake using food frequency questionnaires and gained estimates of overall diet quality using the Healthy Eating Index-2005.
The team demonstrated that a higher overall dietary quality was associated with a lower risk of mortality in ovarian cancer survivors. This relationship was strongest among women with a smaller waist circumference and no history of diabetes. Furthermore, physical activity level was not found to modify the association.
The study also demonstrated that individual dietary components were not associated with mortality post ovarian cancer, indicating that it is the composite of healthy dietary choices that impacts survival.
The influence of diet as a potential prognostic factor for survival after an ovarian cancer diagnosis was previously unclear. This study concludes that “…self-reported dietary quality at least 12 months prior to diagnosis was associated with a statistically significant 27% lower risk of death after ovarian cancer.”