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Study on Ovarian Cancer to look at Lifestyle Solutions

Update Date: Aug 23, 2012 08:53 AM EDT

It may soon be possible to offer evidence-based advice to women suffering from ovarian cancer on how to ease their journey by making lifestyle changes.

Researchers from Queensland Institute of Medical Research are on the verge of embarking on Australia's first study of lifestyle factors that could perhaps help improve survival rates and quality of life for women suffering from the disease.

The study, which will be carried out for a time period of five years, is designed to involve more than 1000 newly diagnosed Australian women.

"We are trying to answer the question that almost every woman with ovarian cancer asks - what can I do to help beat this disease?" associate Professor Penny Webb from the institute's gynaecological cancers group was quoted as saying by

According to Webb, The women recruited for the study will be quizzed on their diet, exercise levels, history of smoking and medications.

"We are obviously interested in survival outcomes but also quality of life, particularly during chemotherapy," she said.

"Toxicity can be a big problem," adds Webb "often requiring drug doses to be reduced, or treatment to be delayed, and this may reduce its efficacy. We hope to identify things that a woman could do to help her get through treatment more easily."

Webb further states that Ovarian Cancer Prognosis and Lifestyle study (OPAL) will be collecting blood samples for future studies that would look into the influence of genetic factors on treatment outcomes or responses to chemotherapy drugs, as revealed in the report.

Ovarian cancer is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary and more than 1200 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and only 40 per cent of patients survive for more than five years.

According to predictions by the American Cancer Society, in 2012, about 22,280 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and about 15,500 women will die from ovarian cancer.

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