New research finds eating soy milk, edamame and tofu does not have harmful effects for women with breast cancer, as some have worried.
In fact, for some breast cancer survivors, soy consumption was found to be tied to longer life. Women with breast cancer sometimes get confusing messages about soy-based foods, soy milk and breast cancer, 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.
A new study helps to resolve this question. And for some breast cancer survivors, soy seems beneficial. Soy milk and breast cancer findings are based on soy milk and breast cancer study of 6, women with breast cancer in the United States and Canada, all of whom were enrolled in the Breast Cancer Family Registry, soy milk and breast cancer.
The women completed food-frequency questionnaires, so researchers could estimate how much soy they consumed.
This benefit of better survival odds was limited to women in the study with hormone receptor-negative cancers. The researchers found no associations for soy-consuming women who had hormone receptor-positive tumors or those who received hormone therapy.
Research in Asian women has shown that soy can protect against breast cancer. And a study that included 5, Chinese breast cancer survivors concluded that those who consumed the most soy did better in the four years following diagnosis and treatment. Her findings are published in the journal Cancer. In an accompanying editorial, Omer Kucuk, an oncologist who has studied nutrition and cancer prevention at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, argues that the new data helps answer the question of whether soy is safe for women.
But there are some limitations to the study. For instance, researchers point out that the women who consumed more soy in their study also tended scott and white health plan payment have higher incomes and healthier lifestyles, factors that can also influence longevity. And there are other unanswered questions, according to Marian Neuhousera registered dietician and nutritional epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
She says the data from the new study is "a piece of the puzzle. She points out that the amount of soy isoflavones that the North American women in the study consumed was quite small — less than 2 milligrams a day. For now, she says "soy seems to be safe" at the levels soy milk and breast cancer in the U. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player.
The Salt New research finds eating soy milk, edamame and tofu does not have harmful effects for women with breast cancer, as some have worried.
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