New Study Confirms Milk’s Link with Ovarian Cancer
A study in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms what many PCRM member doctors have long suspected: milk increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted a prospective study of more than 60,000 women and concluded that “intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, were significantly associated with the risk of serous ovarian cancer.” Serous epithelial cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer.
The Swedish study is one of several published in the past few years showing a link between dairy consumption and ovarian cancer. The Iowa Women’s Health Study of more than 29,000 postmenopausal women showed that the highest consumers of lactose (milk sugar) had a 60 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer as compared to those who consumed the least lactose.
In Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study, research participants experienced a 20 percent increase in serous ovarian cancers for each daily glass of low-fat or skim milk they consumed. Researchers hypothesize that galactose, a component of the milk sugar lactose, may damage ovarian cells, making them more susceptible to cancer.