Updated: The Dr. Oz Show’s “Anti-Ovarian Cancer Diet”

Updated September 26: The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has continued conversations with producers of the Dr. Oz Show over the past weeks. We are working closely with the producers to help spread the word about this deadly disease, and to ensure that information presented on the program is medically accurate and helpful to women.

Tim Sullivan, a spokesman for the Dr. Oz Show, says: “In our ongoing mission to help American women fight ovarian cancer, The Dr. Oz Show recently devoted an entire hour special to the topic. In addition to segments on early symptom detection and diagnosis, the women in our audience had an opportunity to ask questions of leading experts, including Dr. Barbara Goff, who is on the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. Our response from viewers has been heartfelt and overwhelmingly positive.”

The Alliance is grateful for the time and energy devoted to awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms on the Dr. Oz Show. We also spoke with producers about the segment detailed below that focused on ovarian cancer and nutrition.

Regarding that segment, Mr. Sullivan notes: “We also featured a segment with a medical expert, a leader in the field of angiogenesis, who is passionate about the role of diet in cancer prevention. At the Dr. Oz Show we pride ourselves on showcasing both the best of current medical practice and allowing for a discussion of emerging ideas. The role of specific foods and disease is an extremely difficult area to study. The peer-reviewed studies that supported the foods we featured show an association between that food and a lower cancer risk, not a definitive cause and effect. Every woman should seek medical attention promptly if she experiences symptoms of ovarian cancer, regardless of what foods she eats. If she does develop ovarian cancer, it is in no way her fault for not eating certain foods.”

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This Tuesday, September 13, the Dr. Oz Show was dedicated to ovarian cancer. In one segment, Dr. Oz was joined by Dr. William Li to discuss what they called an “anti-ovarian cancer diet.”

Not surprisingly, this segment has sparked considerable interest and discussion in the ovarian cancer community. Here at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, we are committed to providing you with complete, evidence-based information regarding all aspects of ovarian cancer. We do so because we strongly believe that women and their physicians must make medical decisions based on all available facts.

We asked producers from the Dr. Oz Show to send us their citations for the segment on nutrition and ovarian cancer. Our staff reviewed these studies in consultation with members of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. In our view, the data from these studies is mixed, and is not strong enough to support the claims made on the program. Click the link below to download our analysis of the literature on which this segment was based. Please feel free to contact the Alliance with any questions you may have.

Alliance Analysis of Studies on Ovarian Cancer and Diet