Obesity reduces ovarian cancer survival say researchers

In collaboration with the Press Association

Obese women are less likely to survive ovarian cancer, new research has suggested

The risks of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer have been previously linked to body mass index (BMI), but the study is the first to link obesity to mortality.

BMI was also linked to faster recurrence of the disease following treatment and decreased survival times.

Researchers compared 216 women with ovarian cancer during the survey, 35 of whom were obese and 108 with healthy bodyweight.

The findings are in line with previous research on the connection between BMI and cancer, said Dr Laura-Jane Armstrong of Cancer Research UK.

"Obesity increases the risk of cancer of the bowel, womb, gall bladder and oesophagus cancer, and of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. So it is plausible that it could also increases a woman's risk of ovarian cancer," she said.

"Indeed, several previous studies suggested this may be the case.

"However, this current study involved a relatively small number of patients so further research is needed to confirm if obesity can affect ovarian cancer progression.

"Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of getting cancer. For more information visit the Cancer Research UK Reduce the Risk website."

The study was conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre and the Women's Cancer Research Institute at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and published in the journal Cancer.

Find out about the link between bodyweight and cancer risk

Find out more about ovarian cancer