Ovarian Cancer: Lifestyle, Diet and Nutrition

Nutr Cancer. 2021;73(7):1092-1107. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2020.1792948. Epub 2020 Jul 16.


Background and aims: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of female reproductive cancer death. It is estimated that dietary habits accounts for 30% of all cancers. This review sets out what we know about the food, nutrition and lifestyle factors that cause ovarian cancer, affect women with ovarian cancer and the problems associated with study design that may affect its prevention and patient survival.

Methods: Studies reporting lifestyle, diet, nutritional benefits in ovarian cancer patients from 1980 to date were examined and insights into the potential problems related with study design evaluated.

Results: Poor diet and nutrition are associated with ovarian cancer and exacerbated by poor lifestyle choices. Although improvements in disease prevention and patient survival can be made through nutritional, dietary and lifestyle interventions uncertain evidence, resulting directly or indirectly from inadequate study design may negate this.

Conclusions: Lifestyle, dietary and nutrition interventions may prevent and improve survival of ovarian cancer patients. However, inadequate clarity and gaps exists within the literature, eg., study design, data interpretation, absence of cohesive questions and scoring systems. Future directions that emphasize high quality studies and clinical trials should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Ovarian Neoplasms*