Attention, ladies! A first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers from the Rutgers Cancer Intitute of New Jersey in the United States has revealed that a diet high in calcium and low in lactose may lower your risk of overian cancer - especially if you're a black woman.
These findings are highly significant considering ovarian cancers constitutes approximately 3% of all cancers in women. Furthermore, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States, the National Cancer Institute reports. Read on for the full story...
The survival rate for Caucasian women with ovarian cancer has improved, but the survival rate for black women has declined...
According to the National Cancer
Institute, while the five-year survival rate for Caucasian women with ovarian cancer
has improved, the survival rate for black women with this cancer
dipped to 38% in 2005 to 2011 from 42% in 1975 to 1977.
Studying the reasons for this decline in survival rate was critical to the study, as was examining the preventative factors that could benefit black women at risk of developing ovarian cancer
, said Dr Bo “Bonnie” Qin, lead author of the study.
“This is the largest study to examine lifestyle characteristics including dietary intake and the risk of ovarian cancer
in African-American women,” Qin said.
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Study uncovers that a diet high in calcium and low in lactose can protect black women from ovarian cancer
Dr Qin and his team published their findings in the British Journal of Cancer
They looked at a total of 490 case participants and 656 control participants who were evaluated as part of the African-American Cancer Epidemiology Study – an ongoing population-based case-control study of ovarian cancer in African-American women in 11 states.
The team found that calcium intake from either dietary or supplemental sources may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in black women. On the flip side, they found that the consumption of whole milk or lactose may increase the risk of this cancer in black women.
“We didn’t find a significant association between vitamin D intake from diet with ovarian cancer risk,” Qin said. “However, we found longer sun exposure in the summer months may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer in African-American women.
“But because we all know the benefits of sun exposure may be offset due to increased risk of skin cancer
, moderate sun exposure and sufficient vitamin D intake from diet and supplements may be a safer solution.”
Qin concluded preventative factors are key to preventing ovarian cancer considering there’s no way to effectively screen for the disease.
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