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Rewriter's picture
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

Should women who have had a cancer that contains both UPSC cells and endometriod adenocarcinoma avoid soy? That's my diagnosis, and for almost four years I have been diligent about cutting out foods like tofu. However, after going from a mostly vegetarian diet to eating chicken and occasional meat, I want to return to a plant-based diet that includes tofu a couple of times a week. Would that be safe? I make a wonderful and simple dish that includes curried chick peas (lots of curry powder and extra turmeric), caramelized onions, chopped fresh kale, chopped cherry tomatoes, cubed tofu, and srirracha sauce. What do you think? Any advice is appreciated.

carolenk's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I don't think soy is a problem if you don't go crazy with it. I think there may be extra benefits derived from fermented soy like miso or tempeh--tofu isn't fermented. I had a vegetarian friend who ate so much soy I swear he smelled like tofu.

The thinking is that the phytoestrogens in soy selectively down regulate the estrogen receptors so there wouldn't be a problem with estrogen receptor + cancers. I don't know if soy is contraindicated with Tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors.

Caan BJ, Natarajan L, Parker BA, et al. Soy Food Consumption and Breast Cancer Prognosis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. Published ahead of print Feb 25, 2011.

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

My nutritionist who's a breast cancer survivor, suggested I use very little soy, but when I do use it get it in "whole soy foods", not an "isolate" soy which is refined and processed. There are still too many unknowns about soy, so best to be safe vs. sorry.

I was on a powder vitamin regime for some 8 years. Didn't realize until I was diagnosed with cancer, but "isolate" soy isn't good for us and this Company's product line was filled with this ingredient. Now I know.... To this day, wondering if it had a factor in my diagnosis of cancer....will always be a mystery to me.


Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011


Our MMMT tumors, according to my onc, are "not usually" estrogen sensitive.
That suggests that each tumor has its own traits--another reason we all need to demand tumor assays and more specifity from our pathology reports.

In the meantime, a few studies cited by a newsletter I subscribe to painted so dismal a picture of "processed soy products" that I will never go near the following again: ANY soy powder, ANY tofu (granted "organic" is a bit safer than not), any "soy isolate" in protein bars--all of which are apparently contaminated with excess lead and other toxic elements.
Fortunately, I rarely ate any of the preceding.

The only soy that's safe, from what I've read, are forms that are fermented: tempeh and seitan, miso soup. Edamame is likely safe as well.

On the other hand, I keep seeing how beneficial "genestein" is and I assume that's a component of soy. Apparently genestein and phytoestrogens help to DETOXIFY natural estrogen and so are safe and even beneficial for hormonally sensitive cancers.

Or ARE they? I see conflicting information. Could someone who has studied THIS issue (genestein and phytoestrogens) provide help here? Should I or should I NOT be eating yams and blueberries because they contain pytoestrogens? Have been gorging on blueberries at breakfast for a year now: half a cup each morning in oatmeal.



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