Cancer of the Uterus and Ovary

The Physicians Committee

Cancer of the Uterus and Ovary

The uterus and ovary, of course, are reproductive organs, and factors that affect hormone function can be expected to affect these organs as well. The risk of cancer of the uterus and ovary is higher in populations that have more breast cancer incidences, suggesting that they may be caused by similar factors. Uterine cancer is linked to fatty diets and obesity, 25,52,53 although other factors, including hormone supplements, also play an important role. Ovarian cancer is also more common where people eat higher-fat diets. 25,54

Dr. Daniel Cramer of Harvard University 55 found that a higher intake of dairy products was linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer. If this finding holds true, the culprit may be a breakdown product of the milk sugar lactose. Lactose is broken down in the body to another sugar called galactose, which appears to be able to damage the ovary. The problem is the milk sugar, not the milk fat, so it is not solved by using nonfat products.

Surviving Cancer of the Uterus and Ovary

The uterus and ovary, like the breast, are strongly influenced by sex hormones, and a low-fat, vegetarian diet is the best prescription for preventing the hormonal elevations that encourage cancer. In addition, as mentioned earlier, galactose—a breakdown product of the milk sugar lactose—increases risk of ovarian cancer.

One might assume that the factors that improve survival in breast cancer might do the same for cancers of the uterus and ovary. Unfortunately, researchers have essentially ignored this issue. Until more information is available, it seems most prudent for those with ovarian or uterine cancer to follow the same diet that helps prevent cancer in these organs and which keeps the immune system in good working order: a low-fat, pure vegetarian diet, with an abundance of vegetables and fruits.

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