Evidence for the safety of soyfoods for women with breast cancer continues to accumulate. Recently, researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine concluded that breast cancer patients should not be advised against eating soyfoods. Similar conclusions have been made by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.
Researchers from the Department of Medical Oncology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China, have taken recommendations a step further. They analyzed the scientific literature on soy and breast cancer and concluded that “soy food intake should be encouraged in order to avoid mortality and recurrence.”
Their evaluation of the science was a statistical analysis of five studies, two from the United States and three from China, which included 11,206 breast cancer patients. All five studies evaluated the effects of soy consumption after a diagnosis of breast cancer. These studies showed that higher soy intake was associated with better survival and a lower rate of tumor recurrence.
Because these are epidemiologic (population) studies rather than clinical intervention studies there is still a need for more definitive findings before major health organizations are likely to make similar recommendations. In the meantime, it remains clear that soyfoods are safe for women who have had breast cancer. And because soyfoods may help to reduce risk for a number of chronic diseases, adding them to diets is a smart decision for any woman who wants to eat healthfully.
Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev, 14 (4), 2407-2412.