Dietary influences on survival after ovarian cancer

Christina M. Nagle, David M. Purdie, Penelope M. Webb, Adèle Green, Philip W. Harvey, Christopher J. Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We evaluated the effects of various food groups and micronutrients in the diet on survival among women who originally participated in a population-based case-control study of ovarian cancer conducted across 3 Australian states between 1990 and 1993. This analysis included 609 women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, primarily because there was negligible mortality in women with borderline tumors. The women's usual diet was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Deaths in the cohort were identified using state-based cancer registries and the Australian National Death Index (NDI). Crude 5-year survival probabilities were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier technique, and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained from Cox regression models. After adjusting for important confounding factors, a survival advantage was observed for those who reported higher intake of vegetables in general (HR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.57-0.99, p-value trend 0.01 for the highest third, compared to the lowest third), and cruciferous vegetables in particular (HR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.57-0.98, p-value trend 0.03), and among women in the upper third of intake of vitamin E (HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.58-1.01, p-value trend 0.04). Inverse associations were also seen with protein (p-value trend 0.09), red meat (p-value trend 0.06) and white meat (p-value trend 0.07), and modest positive trends (maximum 30% excess) with lactose (p-value trend 0.04), calcium and dairy products. Although much remains to be learned about the influence of nutritional factors after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, our study suggests the possibility that a diet high in vegetable intake may help improve survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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