New AICR/WCRF Report: Obesity Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk

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A new report we’ve released today suggests that staying a healthy weight may offer women a relatively modest — but significant — protection against ovarian cancer, one of the most deadly cancers for women.

The findings of AICR/WCRF’s latest Continuous Update Project report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Ovarian Cancer, means that ovarian cancer now joins the list of cancers linked to obesity. Research now shows that excess body fat links to increased risk of  eight cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and pancreatic.

For the report, scientists analyzed all relevant studies that investigated ovarian cancer’s link to diet, physical activity and weight. There were 25 studies related to weight, including four million women.

The report concluded that every five increments of BMI increased women’s risk 6 percent. That risk started on the high end of overweight, towards the obesity category, which starts at a BMI of 30. That means for two women both 5 feet 5 inches tall with all other factors equal, the woman weighing 200 pounds would be at 6 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than her counterpart at 170 pounds. Continue reading


Enhancing Ovarian Cancer Treatment with Plant Compounds

One of the big challenges in cancer treatment is resistance, when cells never react or stop reacting to a chemotherapy drug’s lethal effects. For ovarian cancer, resistance can occur with the commonly-used drug cisplatin.

The phytochemicals found in plant foods may help, a new study suggests. The study is preliminary, conducted on cancer cells, yet it suggests that a phytochemical called kaempferol may help this ovarian treatment be more effective.

Kaempferol is a flavonoid, one of the largest groups of phytochemicals and studied previously for its role in protecting against cancer. It’s found in many plant-foods, including berries, tea, and broccoli.

You can read the study here.

AICR has funded many studies on the effects of dietary components on cancer treatments: We featured a couple of them on breast cancer treatment in this months eNews.


AICR-Funded Ovarian Cancer Study Making News

An intriguing AICR-funded study on flaxseed and ovarian cancer is making news today. The study investigated how a flaxseed-enriched diet would effect ovarian cancer development in hens. Although the study was conducted in animals, it will hopefully lead to research that will help ovarian cancer survivors.

Why hens? Hens are the only other animals besides humans known to spontaneously develop ovarian cancer, and at a relatively high rate. That makes hens a strong model to study ovarian cancer, a disease dubbed “the silent killer” because it is often not detected until the later stages.

You can read a news report about the study here.

You can also read an earlier report on the study and the lead scientist Dale Hales, PhD. , which we wrote about in Cancer Research Update.