Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago examined data from a longitudinal study looking at the self-reported, pre-diagnosis diets of women who had epithelial ovarian cancer. With epithelial ovarian cancer, malignant cells are found in the tissue that covers the ovary. The 351 study participants filled out a questionnaire that covered what they ate for three to five years before receiving their diagnosis. They were given a list of foods and food subgroups; grains and meats, for example were divided into more healthful and less healthful categories. Less healthful meats included red meat and cured meats.
Those less healthful meats were associated with a shorter survival time. No correlation with survival time was noted for white meats, such as chicken, and fish. There was also more risk associated with consumption of milk and milk-based foods.
In the paper, the authors wrote, "Although the study does not directly address how diet might mechanistically influence survival time, it does create an awareness of a potential area for future research toward understanding disparities in the cancer survivorship experience."
The study appeared in the March issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.