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Low-Fat Diet May Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk

Study shows preventive effects among postmenopausal women

FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who follow a reduced-fat diet are at less risk of developing ovarian cancer than their counterparts who do not control fat intake, researchers report in the Oct. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ross L. Prentice, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data from the Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification Randomized Controlled Trial, which looked primarily at the effects of diet on breast and colorectal cancers, with ovarian cancer and endometrial cancers as additional outcomes. Of the 48,835 study participants, 19,541 were randomized to a diet that reduced fat consumption to 20 percent of energy and increased intake of fruit, vegetables and grains, while 29,294 women retained their original diet.

In the intervention group, the risk of ovarian cancer started to decline after the four-year mark, with 0.38 cases per 1,000 person-years compared with 0.64 per 1,000 person-years in the non-intervention group.

"This report provides evidence for a reduced risk of ovarian cancer as a result of the low-fat dietary pattern intervention, along with suggestive evidence for a reduction in total invasive cancer," the authors conclude.

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