Breast cancer survivors who had been vigorously advised to keep away from soy foods and supplements are having their fears allayed by a recent new study.
The findings which will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. contradict the earlier notion that soy induces estrogen-like effects that make breast tumors to grow. Data collected by research institutions in the US and China from four studies including the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project, a multi-institution collaborative study, revealed that the risk of breast cancer recurrence did not increase with eating soy foods. The remarkable finding made it clear that a high intake of soy foods actually brought down the risk of breast cancer recurrence by almost 15 per cent.
Having studied 18,312 women, it was discovered that besides the isoflavones that could act like estrogens, "soy has many anticancer properties, antioxidants, nutrients, micronutrients, or vitamins that may contribute to its beneficial effect on health," claims study researcher Xiao Oh Shu, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Leif Ellisen, MD, PhD, of the Gillette Center for Breast Cancer at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston says, "I used to say 'the potential negative effects are only theoretical,' but now I am much more likely to say 'the good evidence suggests that if anything, soy may be beneficial,'"