The Role of Nutrition and Diet in
Ovarian Cancer Survivorship
The objective: to improve understanding of the food choices that support the detoxification process and aide in healthy gut function.
Known Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors
Other cancers: you or your mother, daughter, or sister had cancer of the ovary, breast, colon, rectum, or uterus
Genes: you have mutations in genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) Age: >55
Childbirth: never gave birth
Complete Support for Detoxification Optimal Intestinal Health
Complete Support for Detoxification
•Gastrointestinal Tract •Lymphatic System
•Lungs and Respiratory System •Skin
Textbook of Functional Medicine. Gig Harbor, Wash: The Institute for Functional Medicine, 2005, p 278. © 2005 The Institute of Functional Medicine.
Phase I – “activation” -- Fat soluble toxins are converted to unstable intermediate molecules
Phase II – “conjugation” -- intermediate molecules are converted into more stable, water soluble molecules
glutathione conjugation amino acid conjugation methylation
Foods & Nutrients that Up-Regulate Pathways
Fruits and Vegetables Cruciferous Vegetables Tumeric
Fibrous Foods Probiotics
Optimize calories and protein to support detoxification pathways Eliminate toxic ingredients and harmful cooking methods
Remove food allergens and interolances Focus on Fiber and Fluids
Boost antioxidant and micronutrient defenses Include detoxicants
Optimal Intestinal Health
Avoid processed foods Increase Plant Foods
Increase fiber from whole food sources-
•Binds, aids in excretion of toxins, increases transit, helps to balance microflora
Increase Pre &Probiotics Increase Water
National Cancer Institute guidelines for cancer prevention can be used to decrease the chance of a recurrence.
These guidelines include:
Increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains Decrease fat intake to < 30% of calories
Minimize intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Important Plant Sources for Good Health
Grains: Wheat, rye, oats, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, bulgur, barley
Green leafy vegetables: Lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, endives, beet greens
Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, turnip, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlorabi, bok choy, watercress, collards, kale, mustard greens, rutabaga
Celery, parsley, fennel, carrots, parsnip
Allium vegetables: Garlic, onion, shallots, chives, leek
Legumes: Soybeans, peas, chickpeas, lima beans, peanut, carob, dried beans (kidney, mung, pinto, black-eyed), lentils
Solanaceous vegetables: Nightshade family: eggplant, tomatoes
Cucurbitaceous vegetables Gourd family: pumpkin, squash, cucumber, muskmelon, watermelon
Potential Cancer Fighters in Foods-Phytochemicals
Isothiocyanates: Cruciferous vegetables, mustard, horseradish
Phenolic compounds: Garlic, green tea, soybeans, cereal grains, cruciferous, umbelliferous, solanaceous, cucurbitaceous vegetables, licorice root, flax seed Flavanoids: Most fruits and vegetables (cruciferous, umbelliferous, solanaceous,
cucurbitaceous), citrus fruits, wine, green tea, onions, cereal grains, soybeans, flax seed
Mono-terpenes: Garlic, citrus fruits, caraway seeds, umbelliferous, solanaceous, Cucurbitaceous vegetables, sage, camphor, dill, basil, mint
Organo-sulfides: Garlic, onion, leeks, shallots, cruciferous vegetables Isoflavones: Soybeans, legumes, flax seed
Multiple Signaling Pathways
•Cell proliferation •Apoptosis
Research made by the American Cancer Society in July of 2003
explained that women with ovarian cancer who eat a vegetable-rich diet have a greater chance of survival than those who don’t.
Based on the Oregon State University, phytochemicals are associated with reduced cancer risk.
Based on accumulative studies publicized by the Ovarian Cancer National Institute (OCNI) diets rich in soy can also minimize risk of ovarian cancer
What to do:
More Fruits/Vegetables may improve survival Drink Tea Daily
Increase Fish – Decrease processed meat
Increase Foods rich in Flavonoids with anti-cancer properties:
Tumeric – potential mechanism: angiogenesis. Clinical trials pending Anti-inflammatory phytochemicals: inhibit VEGF production
Kaempferol – sources; turnip greens and spinach Genistein –tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso
Apigenin – sources; celery, parsley, tomato sauce, red wine Luteolin – greens, celery, herbs, artichokes
Quercetin – green vegetables, parsley, apples, cherries, onions
• Stay lean. Some studies suggest obesity may increase ovarian cancer risk. Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, running, swimming, or exercise classes, are one more
way to limit cancer risks and decrease risk of recurrence.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association"; Prediagnosis Food Patterns Are Associated with Length of Survival from Epithelial Ovarian Cancer; T.A. Dolecek et al.; March 2010
Chen SS, Michael A, Butler-Manuel SA. Advances in the treatment of ovarian cancer: a potential role of antiinflammatory phytochemicals. Discov Med. 2012 Jan;13(68):7-17. Review. PubMed PMID: 22284780.
Zhang M, Lee AH, Binns CW, Xie X. Green tea consumption enhances survival of epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer. 2004 Nov 10;112(3):465-9. PubMed PMID: 15382073.