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Soy & Breast Cancer Survival

To prevent a recurrence should breast cancer survivors on tamoxifen seek or snub soy?

October 25, 2010 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Transcript

We’ve known for years that soy helps prevent breast cancer, and that evidence continues to grow. And the earlier we can get our daughters to eat soy the better, as that’s where we see the strongest protection. If you remember in my volume 2 DVD we learned that women who have breast cancer that eat soy live significantly longer, but what if you’re on, tamoxifen, a drug breast cancer survivors can take to help prevent a recurrence by blocking the effect of estrogens on the body. So if you’re trying to wipe out all trace of estrogen activity, do you want to be eating the phytoestrogens found in soy? Fact or fiction: breast cancer survivors on tamoxifen should avoid soy.
Fiction. In the Life After Cancer study, following nearly 2000 breast cancer survivors, women on tamoxifen who ate the most soy had a sixty percent reduction in breast cancer recurrence compared to the women who ate the least amount of soy phytoestrogens. They cut their risk of their cancer coming back in half, just by eating soy.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on breast cancer. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Soymilk: shake it up!, Breast Cancer and Diet, and Soy and breast cancer: an update.

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/LachicaveganaComefrutas/ Lachicavegana Comefrutas

    This is what I am curious about. Does soy lower estradiol and estrone? Or does it act more like DIM and work for a better balance. Isn’t estradiol heart protective, helping memory, blood sugar, etc……while estrone makes ya gain weight, etc…..?? I thought that you wanted the estradiol to be at least twice that of the estrone. If soy increases estradiol then I will Throw a party. And isn’t bioidentical estrogen made from soy, I mean prescription estrogen that is not made from a drug company. So in that case, the soy is used to boost estrogen, but the happy estrogen. I go back and forth on soy because I don’t really understand what it does to the sex hormones and the LAST thing I want to do is to lower my happy estrogen. I do have to say that we cooked two pounds of tofu after the video that soy made ya skinny. :)

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/MariaVandervert/ Maria Vandervert

    What’s up with the studies citing negative effects of soy? There is a lot of media out there on Dr. Mercola – which says that soy is terrible for you. Really. A bean?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/drdons/ DrDons

      I know of no good scientific articles on the adverse effects of soy. Looking into Dr. Mercola’s background and claims should be enough to avoid following his recommendations.

    • Crush Zion

      Sure, there’s no such thing as a dangerous bean! Have yourself some raw kidney beans (esp. sprouted). :)

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/kelleymac/ Kelleymac

    Oh ya.. Because a two min video says so your all gaga over it. Sorry im not buying it. Where is your proof!

    • Thule

      Err… didn’t you notice that just below the video there is a section with Sources Cited? (with links to the studies)

      Everything presented is based on studies. In this case:

      S.
      A. Lee, X. O. Shu, H. Li, G. Yang, H. Cai, W. Wen, B. T. Ji, J. Gao, Y.
      T. Gao, and W. Zheng. Adolescent and adult soy food intake and breast
      cancer risk: Results from the shanghai women’s health study. Am. J.
      Clin. Nutr., 89(6):1920-1926, 2009.

      L. A. Korde, A. H. Wu, T. Fears, A. M. Y. Nomura, D. W. West, L. N.
      Kolonel, M. C. Pike, R. N. Hoover, and R. G. Ziegler. Childhood soy
      intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer
      Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 18(4):1050, 2009.

      B.N. Fink, S.E. Steck, M.S. Wolff, J.A. Britton, G.C. Kabat, M.M.
      Gaudet, P.E. Abrahamson, P. Bell, J.C. Schroeder, S.L. Teitelbaum, A.I.
      Neugut, & M.D. Gammon. Dietary flavonoid intake and breast cancer
      survival among women on Long Island. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev,
      16(11):2285-2292, 2007.

      N. Guha, M. L. Kwan, C. P. Quesenberry Jr, E. K. Weltzien, A. L.
      Castillo, and B. J. Caan. Soy isoavones and risk of cancer recurrence in
      a cohort of breast cancer survivors: The life after cancer epidemiology
      study. Breast Cancer Res. Treat., 118(2):395-405, 2009.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/chandra_pureo2-pl/ chandra_pure@o2.pl

    I am well confused about eating soya when having a cancer….i have found many articles which suggest that eating soya reduces the risk of cancer coming back and increases survival rate etc…but there is also the whole lot of articles uploaded recently that suggest that although soya can reduce the risk of getting a cancer it is not recomender for people who already have one becuase of that thingy similar to estrogen…my mum has breast cancer…should she avoid soya or should she start eating it???

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/drdons/ DrDons

    The early confusion has been answered by more recent studies. The current science supports the use of soy in the diet of patients who have had breast cancer. Other videos you might find of interest is the effects of exercise on breast cancer: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/exercise-breast-cancer/ and specific vegetables on breast cancer: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/veggies-vs-cancer/ & http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/vegetables-versus-breast-cancer/. Animal and epidemiology studies support avoiding the consumption of animal protein in patients with cancer.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet!