Eating a Mediterranean diet could cut womb cancer risk

May 27, 2015
Credit: Wikipedia.

Women who eat a Mediterranean diet could cut their risk of womb cancer by more than half (57 per cent), according to a study published today in the British Journal of Cancer.

The Italian researchers looked at the diets of over 5,000 Italian women to see how closely they stuck to a Mediterranean and whether they went on to develop ().

The team broke the Mediterranean diet down into nine different components and measured how closely women stuck to them. The diet includes eating lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts, pulses, cereals and potatoes, fish, monounsaturated fats but little meat, milk and other dairy products and .

Researchers found that women who adhered to the Mediterranean diet most closely by eating between seven and nine of the beneficial food groups lowered their risk of womb cancer by more than half (57 per cent).

Those who stuck to six elements of the diet's components reduced their risk of womb cancer by 46 per cent and those who stuck to five reduced their risk by a third (34 per cent).

But those women whose diet included fewer than five of the components did not lower their risk of womb cancer significantly.

Dr Cristina Bosetti, lead author from the IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche, said: "Our research shows the impact a could have on a woman's risk of developing womb cancer. This adds more weight to our understanding of how our every day choices, like what we eat and how active we are, affect our risk of cancer."

The study was funded by the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss League Against Cancer.

Each year in the UK there are around 8,500 new cases of womb cancer, and rates have increased by around half since the early 1990s in Great Britain.

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK's head of health information, said: "While we know that getting older and being overweight both increase a woman's risk of womb cancer, the idea that a Mediterranean diet could help reduce the risk needs more research. This is partly because this study was based on people remembering what they had eaten in the past.

"Cancer risk is affected by our age and our genes but a healthy lifestyle can also play a part in reducing the of some cancers. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, being active, eating healthily and cutting down on alcohol helps to stack the odds in your favour."

Explore further: Vigorous exercise cuts womb cancer risk in overweight women by more than a third

More information: Filomeno et al. Mediterranean diet and risk of endometrial cancer: a pooled analysis of three Italian case-control studies. British Journal of Cancer. DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2015.153

Related Stories

Obese women 40 percent more likely to get cancer

March 16, 2015

Obese women have around a 40 per cent greater risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime than women of a healthy weight, according to new figures released by Cancer Research UK today.

Vegetarian diet linked to lower risk of colorectal cancers

March 9, 2015

Eating a vegetarian diet was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancers compared with nonvegetarians in a study of Seventh-Day Adventist men and women, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Recommended for you

Researchers identify new target for cancer immunotherapy

January 17, 2017

Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have found new evidence that the tumor necrosis factor receptor type II (TNFR2) may be a major target for immuno-oncology treatments, which induce a patient's immune system to ...

Study reveals why cancer cells spread within the body

January 17, 2017

Each day, more than 1,600 people die from cancer in the US, and 450 in the UK, mostly because the disease has spread beyond a stage when surgery is an effective cure and has become resistant to therapy. Despite decades of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.