Ovarian cancer affects 1,200 Australian women each year. It is less common than breast cancer, and because it is not usually detected until it has spread around the body, has a very poor prognosis. 800 women die from ovarian cancer annually.
Our research has shown that women who have a diet high in processed food, red meat and fats have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Smoking, using talcum powder in the pubic region, having endometriosis, or being obese can also increase ovarian cancer risk.
Our research focuses on:
- OPAL study: Australia’s first study into lifestyle factors that may improve survival and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer
- identifying genes that affect ovarian cancer risk, both positively and negatively
- investigating factors such as diet and exercise and their affect on ovarian cancer risk and survival after diagnosis.
Our research has found:
- women with endometriosis are more likely to develop ovarian cancer
- decreasing the time between symptom onset and diagnosis will not improve survival rates of ovarian cancer on a population level
- drinking tea may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer
- twelve new gene variants may be linked to the risk of ovarian cancer, in addition to the breast cancer-linked genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. This genome-wide association study was the first to search for ovarian cancer genes.