There are roughly 12,000 new diagnoses of cervical cancer annually, and roughly 32% of these are fatal. Thanks to effective screening, many women can be cured. And thanks to new research on prevention, the right diet and lifestyle choices can significantly lower your chances of developing this deadly cancer in the first place.  Two solid weapons against cervical cancer appear to be a daily dose of green tea and fresh veggies!

That was the result of a study by Chinese researchers who looked at a group of 1,040 women, average age 44, and followed their dietary intakes over two years to see how diet might affect cervical cancer risk.  Out of various dietary factors, just two stood out. Those who drank green tea daily reduced their risk by 45% while veggie intake curbed risk by 10%. Even more encouraging, previous research suggested that  women who eat the most veggies are 50% less likely to have the kind of persistent HPV infections that can lead to cervical cancer and infertility. On the flip side: Data shows that women with the highest intake of animal fat have a 70% increased risk.

A side benefit of veggies and green tea is that they both can help with weight management – important, as obese women have double the chance of developing cervical adenocarcinoma (a malignant cervical cancer). Regardless of weight status and gender, green tea offers other benefits besides, such as improved dental health, reduced vulnerability to allergens, and possible lower risk of other cancers.

Published February 1, 2013