Drinking tea may reduce ovarian cancer risk

May 31, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have found that drinking tea may decrease your risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Lead researcher Dr Christina Nagle from QIMR’s Gynaecological Cancer Group said, “Our results indicate that drinking more than four cups a day of black, green or herbal tea may reduce risk by almost 30%.”

Dr Nagle said that despite previous animal studies suggesting that tea can inhibit the growth of , the results of human studies have been inconsistent. “However, our findings support the idea that the antioxidants in tea may be beneficial against cancer in humans.”

This study surveyed approximately 2,700 Australian women (half with ovarian cancer, and half without). Each woman was questioned about her diet and lifestyle, including tea drinking habits.

“Green tea is thought to be the healthiest kind of tea. Although the results of our study did not show a stronger effect for green , combining all of the evidence worldwide suggests that drinking one or more cups per day may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 40%. However this needs to be confirmed through further research.”

Almost 1,200 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. The disease accounts for approximately 800 deaths per year making it the sixth most common cause of cancer death in Australia.

In about 75% of cases, ovarian cancer will be at an advanced stage when it is diagnosed, which means the cancer has already spread to other organs.

“The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances of survival. So the more women who know about ovarian cancer and its symptoms, the better.”

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in the ovaries multiply and form an invasive (malignant) tumour. Such tumours can spread to other parts of the body through metastasis. Ovarian cancer symptoms include bloating, , incontinence and irregular bleeding.

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More information: The paper is published in Cancer Causes Control and is available online. ( dx.doi.org/10.1007/s1055-0109577-7 )

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