Soy has been a source of concern for some cancer patients, but a new study of more than 6,000 women with breast cancer finds soy might actually help.
Marianne Lu, 32, is battling aggressive breast cancer. She's always had a healthy approach to her diet, but questioned soy products.
"Whenever the whole soy thing started happening where people were like it's bad for you, you shouldn't eat it. I started to avoid it and I haven't eaten soy," said Lu.
Over the years, breast cancer concerns have caused many women to avoid soy. but now new research suggests soy is safe for breast cancer patients and may even be beneficial
"Soy has been a real concern and controversy through the years because of the potential estrogen like effects of the components of soy and the potential for stimulating estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells," said Dr. Heather McArthur, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Researchers found women who consumed the highest amounts of the compound in soy had a 21 percent lower risk of dying.
Patients have the most benefit if their breast cancers are not driven by estrogen. McArthur says it's also promising for patients with hormone related cancer.
"That the consumption of soy is safe and doesn't appear to impact survival is really encouraging, particularly for women taking hormone therapy for breast cancer," said McArthur.
The study only looked at soy found in foods, not in supplements. Doctors say as with most things, moderation is usually best.
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