Breast cancer survivors needn't worry about eating soy, according to a new study presented at the American Assn. for Cancer Research in Orlando this week.
Fears that the isoflavone chemicals found in soy -- which have estrogen-like properties -- might raise the risk of cancer recurrence seem unfounded. The conclusion comes from a large study compiling data from more than 18,000 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer; an average of nine years after diagnosis, no statistical difference was seen between groups of women who ate a lot of soy and those who ate very little, both with regard to either recurrence of the cancers or death.
(The study, if anything, noted a trend toward lowered risk, but it wasn't statistically significant.)
Soy has gotten mixed PR over the years. More than a decade ago when I was a freelancer, it seemed that every other article I was asked to write was about soy -- its isoflavones, its effects on hot flashes, on bone density, on breast-cancer-prevention, or how to make soy smoothies, and on which soy burgers were the most, er, tasty -- to the point where I was sick of the stuff and feared picking up the phone for fear of another soy assignment.