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Soy Products

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2001

I've been hearing all kinds of mixed information about soy products...someone said you should stay away from them and then I read that it could be helpful in prevent Breast Cancer...
Does anyone have any ideas?

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi! Some soy products containhigh levels of isoflavins which are weak estrogen like substances from plants.Cancer cells eat off estrogen. people who are taking Tamoxifin are blocking the estrogen production to prevent development of more cancer cells, so if you eat soy you produce more estrogen so the Tamoxifin isn't functioning the way it should.

Posts: 20
Joined: Jul 2001

My doctor recommended that I stay away from the Soy Products. My tumor was estrogen positive and I am on tomoxifen for 5 years. He said that the soy would actually feed the cancer, therefore, I have decided to heed his advice and not do the soy thing. I must say it is very confusing to me though when I read about it, but figure he knows best.

Posts: 118
Joined: May 2001

Hi Amy,

I was curious so I did a search, here is what I found :
National Cancer Institute Press Conference, April 6, 1998.
"Soy may enhance cancer-fighting effects of tamoxifen

A diet of soy may enhance the effects of tamoxifen, which is used to prevent breast cancer in high-risk women.

In a study conducted in rats, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that tamoxifen alone reduced the number of carcinogen-induced tumors by 29 percent, from an average of 7.9 per rat to 5.6. Similarly, soy alone reduced the number of tumors by 37 percent. But when the two were combined, the overall reduction in number of tumors was 62 percent.

"While we do not know whether these results apply to women who, because of environmental factors or genetic predisposition, are at high risk for developing breast cancer, our study would suggest that a human trial is warranted," said Andreas Constantinou, associate professor of surgical oncology at UIC and associate director of research in the Functional Foods for Health Program, a joint project of UIC and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The results of the study were reported at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in New Orleans on March 28.

Constantinou and colleagues are now studying whether the additive effects of soy seen in this animal study are due to compounds known as phytoestrogens or to other components of soy.

Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer in women. It is estimated that over 800,000 cases and 400,000 deaths occur each year worldwide. The disease has a clear genetic component, such as mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. But on a population basis, the major risks are due to lifestyle and environmental factors, such as poor dietary habits and exposure to carcinogens. Diet is estimated to contribute to up to 50 percent of all newly diagnosed breast cancer cases. "

I hope this helps.
I am on tamoxifen, and I eat at least two soy yogurts a day. They are flavored "apricot-goyave", taste delicious and I feel good !

Have a great day,

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

I was at a conference a few years ago speaking about the pain I endured. I heard a few views on this. One thing I often heard said through many topics was "IN MODERATION".
Soy raises the hormonal levels and they now say alchoholso does too. They use to say butter and coffee were bad now they don't beat that drum too hard. Smoking is plain and simple not good for us. There isn't one person who can tell me a benefit yet we do it. Now my son know's that he is at a risk and he knows that the risks are raised a allot just by doing it. He still does not unlike my own determination. Smoking was cool then too. WISH I hadn't been, so cool. Not an easy habit to quit I found.
I had to quit reading information, watching TV because since my diagnosis there has been allot more media attention. Why? It affects so many women............. It was like Desert Storm, bombarded with the picks of the day. Too much information. Everyone was good at telling us what we did wrong but not enough about keeping it away. I had already changed the way I was living only to find out that I was deathly ill some years later. Now I have a new perspective and have found a life to live. Life does go on and still is what we make it.

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Posts: 10
Joined: May 2001

Thanks. I asked my ob/gyn yesturday and she said there are still too many studies out there to make a decision and it wouldn't hurt to avoid it (or small amounts in moderation). I think I'll go that route because nobody has a defonite answer and it's better safe than sorry. Thanks for your help,Amy

Posts: 11
Joined: Jul 2001

Wish I could answer that for you? However, I started having night sweats & hot flashes about 1 week after starting radiation. The Dr. prescribed Effexor. I asked him why would an antidepresant help with hot flashes, he said "I have no idea, but it usually works". I decided to try a soy product. He said that it would be OK to try that too. However, I only did the soy, not wanting to add any drugs. I did not take the Effexor. The hot flashes and sweats disappeared after the first day. I guess it balanced everything out and now I can sleep ALL night. I have a friend who has been taking the soy for several years-no Prempro-for menopause symptoms. She has had good results and No Cancer so far.

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