Published: Tue, March 07, 2017
Health Care | By Kelly Miles

Soy products may boost survival in breast cancer patients

Soy products may boost survival in breast cancer patients

A popular diet could actually limit your risk of developing a deadly form of breast cancer, a recent study found. The findings have been mixed, but new research aims to settle the controversy. This condition is more fatal than other types of cancer. And it could be in the fridge in foods containing soy.

However, isoflavones can be treated as a weaker form of estrogen which takes up space among the breast cancer cells and crowds out the more powerful cancer causing estrogen from the body. The disease can also affect men, with 2,000 male patients being diagnosed yearly with breast cancer in the U.S. In 1998, when the women were aged 33 to 52, they completed another food frequency questionnaire about their diet during high school.

It has been frequently linked to better heart health, weight management, healthier brains and living longer, although any association with the risk of cancer is less well understood. One study showed that adding a medium amount of soy to one's food may activate genes that make cancer grow and spread.

The scientists paying special attention to those who ate isoflavone, a compound found in soy. Researchers have therefore been anxious about the adverse health effect of soy on breast cancer patients.

Although the traditional Mediterranean diet involves moderate consumption of alcohol, in this study it was excluded from the criteria, as it is a known risk factor for breast cancer and is linked to 12,000 cases annually.

The study, in the International Journal of Cancer, was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund.

Soy products such as tofu are safe for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and may even prolong their survival, a new study has found.

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Professor Brandt said, "Our research can help to shine a light on how dietary patterns can effect our cancer risk".

Although the research provides with positive results pertaining to consumption of soy-based products by breast cancer patients, Kathy Chapman, chair at Cancer Council Australia warned women to be cautious as the "jury is still out".

"Because of this disparity, it remains unknown whether isoflavone consumption should be encouraged or avoided for breast cancer patients", he said.

He and his team studied about 62,000 women for a period of more than twenty years. Those women in the highest score group for adolescent diet had a 35% higher risk for premenopausal breast cancer relative to those in the lowest score group. However, high amounts of isoflavone did not associate with higher mortality in women who did receive hormonal therapy.

According to a Tufts University study in Boston, isoflavones (components of this food with estrogen-like properties) can reduce the growth of malignant cells in the laboratory. Of those studies, 3,354 women developed breast cancer, but 1,033 of those women were excluded due to their inconsistent diet and/or prior history of breast cancer.

The study's senior author, Esther John, Ph.D., of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, also weighs in on the findings.

In conclusion, the researchers found that if everyone stuck to the diet, about one-third of ER-negative breast cancer incidences (ER-negative breast cancer, a deadly type of cancer, can be more hard to treat), could be avoided.

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