Ovarian cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancers affecting women. This cancer is often detected after it has progressed significantly. As a result, more than 75% of the women with ovarian cancer have secondary growths at the time of diagnosis. This has resulted in a very low five-year survival rate of less than 30% in the women with this cancer.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have unveiled important insights into the link between the risk of ovarian cancer and obesity. The studies have proved a strong association between the development of ovarian cancer and obesity.
It has been observed that a higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with an increased risk for ovarian cancer. The survival rate of women with ovarian cancer is also high in those who are obese compared to those with a normal weight.
Ann F. Dunne, M. Sharon Stack and Elizabeth Riley, the professor of biochemistry and chemistry and the Director of the HCRI have noted that ovarian cancer is the most common cause of death due to a malignancy related to the woman’s reproductive system.
The researchers are conducting more studies to determine the role of obesity in the ovarian cancer metastasis. The studies are aimed at finding whether the tumor cells are better able to metastasize when the patient is obese.
Stack said, “Ovarian cancers have a tendency to metastasize through a unique mechanism that leads to the formation of large numbers of cancerous lesions anchored in the abdominal cavity, which makes surgical removal of the tumor mass challenging,”
A team of researchers used an integrative approach to combine a three-dimensional cell culture model, mouse models, and tissue explants to evaluate the adhesion of the tumor cells to the cells lining the abdominal cavity.
The study also used a ‘diet-induced obesity’ protocol and fed the mice a high-fat diet. The mice with a significantly higher weight were injected ovarian cancer cells and the metastatic activities in the abdominal cavity were observed using in-vivo imaging.
The study found that the metastasis of the ovarian cancer cells was much higher in the mice that were obese.
In another study, researchers have identified a mechanism, which allows the cancer cells to multiply rapidly when the blood sugar levels are high.
The findings of this study may help to get better insights into why obese women with chronically high blood sugar levels have an increased risk of developing cancer.
Some other studies point that the link between ovarian cancer and obesity could be due to the abnormal levels of female hormones like estrogens and the metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity.
Further studies are being undertaken to understand the link between ovarian cancer and obesity and how obesity stimulates the metastasis of cancer. The researchers hope that further research will help to determine the dietary and therapeutic interventions that can help to slow or inhibit the metastatic dissemination of the cancer cells and thereby improve the survival rate of women with ovarian cancer.
Learn how to prevent cancer via Natural ways of cancer treatments.