by Sujatha Nanjundeshwara
The female uterus or the womb is the sacred source of all human creation. Yet it can become the cause of untold suffering to a woman if it falls prey to endometrial or uterine cancer which starts in the cell layers forming the lining of the uterus, also called endometrium.
What are some endometrial cancer facts?
Endometrial cancer is frequently diagnosed among women aged 55-64 years.
India and South Asia witness the lowest rates of this type of cancer; the incidence rates are 4-5 times lower in developing countries.
It affects more than 635,000 women in the United States & is the 4th most common cancer in European women.
It occurs most commonly in women after menopause and affects more white women that black women.
What are some triggers of uterine cancer?
Endometrial cancer occurs when the endometrium is exposed to estrogen for a prolonged period of time and remains unopposed by an adequate amount of progesterone.
Some risk factors include:
Early menarche, late menopause.
Never having given birth (nulliparity).
Estrogen replacement therapy.
Obesity, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome.
What role do diets play in the incidence of endometrial cancer?
Published in Biomed Central Cancer, a research was recently conducted in Northern Italy to examine the role of fruit & vegetable intake, Mediterranean diet (MD) & dietary inflammatory index (DII) in the risk of endometrial cancer.
297 women diagnosed with endometrial cancer & 2 sets of controls comprising of 307 women were recruited for the study.
All the women were aged between 40-74 years of age & lived in the same region.
They filled in questionnaires on their habits including usage of oral contraceptives, BMI, physical activity, education, tobacco use, and diet, hormonal & reproductive history.
The researchers grouped these women into an MD index and a DII index based on their diet preferences.
Results of the study:
1. The more vegetables & fruits the women ate; the lower was the risk of endometrial cancer.
2. Even a moderate or high adherence to the Mediterranean Diet lowered the risk by as much as 50%.
3. Lowest DII foods such as vegetables & whole grains could in fact, provide you with a protective shield.
Based on the results of this study, how can you beat endometrial cancer?
Eat more vegetables! And with this one masterstroke, you can stimulate your immune system detoxify your enzymes, activate those antioxidants and modulate those steroid hormone concentrations.
Go for a Mediterranean diet and a lower DII! Since MD is rich in phytoestrogens (plant compounds), not only does the effect of estrogen get blocked but the antioxidants present in have anti-inflammatory effects as well.
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