Breast cancer survivors may benefit from eating soy

By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

Breast cancer survivors who eat the most soy foods are less likely to die early.

According to a new study, they were over 20 percent less likely to die over the next decade than women who ate the least.

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Researchers from Tufts University studied over 6,200 American and Canadian women with breast cancer.

They were split into groups based on the amount of soy foods they ate.

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Sure enough, the team found a link between high soy intake and a drop in all causes of death.

That aligns with previous research that women in Asia who eat a lot of soy have much lower rates of breast cancer than women in North America.

But for this study, the team dug deeper.

They found only women who had hormone-negative breast cancers got a boost to their lifespan. Soy intake didn't make a difference for everyone else with hormone-positive breast cancers.

The lead author tells NPR that the findings suggest soy food consumption does not have a harmful effect.

This is important to note because the worry has been that estrogen-like compounds in soy might not allow breast cancer drugs to work as well.

Dr. Zhang adds, "The comparisons between high and low consumption in our study are valid, but our findings should not be interpreted as a prescription."

More research is needed to determine soy's exact effect on breast cancer cells.

The findings were published in the journal Cancer.

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