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Nutritional factors in ovarian cancer survival

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies in the United States. Because symptoms tend be nonspecific, early detection is difficult, and most ovarian cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage when the prognosis is poor. Nonetheless, there is clinical evidence that even given the same tumor characteristics (histologic type, stage, and grade), some cases experience much better survival than others. This has led to extensive research on molecular prognostic factors to enable more efficient and targeted therapeutic regimens. However, little is known about the impact that lifestyle factors, such as diet or physical activity, may have in the prognosis of ovarian cancer, whether on disease-free survival or on the response to and complications from treatment. The role of obesity on ovarian cancer survival is unclear. Obesity may delay diagnosis, hinder optimal surgical and cytotoxic treatment, and cause postoperative complications. As overweight and obesity rates reach epidemic proportions, the impact of body mass index in the clinical management of ovarian cancer is increasingly significant, whereas current evidence of its impact is limited and inconclusive.

Authors: Bandera EV; Kushi LH; Rodriguez-Rodriguez L

Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(5):580-6.

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