Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BC, Canada
Women with breast cancer sometimes get confusing messages about soy-based foods, including soy milk, edamame and tofu.
On one hand, studies have suggested that the estrogen-like compounds in soy — called isoflavones — may inhibit the development or recurrence of breast cancer.
On the other hand, there's been concern that consuming soy-based foods can interfere with the effectiveness of breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen.
A new study helps to resolve this question. "Our finding would suggest that soy food consumption does not have a harmful effect," says Fang Fang Zhang, a cancer epidemiologist at Tufts University.
And for some breast cancer survivors, soy seems beneficial. The study tied higher soy consumption to a longer life after breast cancer, especially for women with hormone receptor negative breast cancers — which tend to be aggressive, and don't respond to hormone therapy.
"We found a 21 percent reduction in all-cause mortality among women with the highest dietary intake [of soy], compared to those with the lowest intake," Zhang told us.