United States researchers studying ovarian cancer have reportedly identified a strong relationship between healthy eating and an improved survival rate for those suffering from the disease.
Therese Dolecek, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her colleagues studied 351 women diagnosed with incident epithelial ovarian cancer. The patients were asked to complete a food frequency questionnaire and report their usual dietary intake over the five years prior to their diagnosis.
The researchers found that high total fruit and vegetable consumption was linked to an increased survival advantage. Moreover, participants who had an elevated intake of healthy grains tended to live longer.
However, above average consumption of less-healthy meats and dairy was associated with a survival rate disadvantage.
"The study findings suggest that food patterns three to five years prior to a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer have the potential to influence survival time," said Dolecek.
She added that "the pre-diagnosis food patterns observed to afford a survival advantage after an epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosis reflect characteristics commonly found in plant-based or low fat diets."
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer will be reported this year.