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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – New evidence shows that soy may be good for some patients who are suffering from breast cancer.

32-year-old Marianne Lu 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,” said Lu.  “I started to avoid it and I haven’t eaten soy.”

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 from 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.

Doctor 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 Dr. McArthur.

The study only looked at soy found in foods, not in supplements. Doctors say as with most things, moderation is usually best.

Researchers looked at more than six-thousand American and Canadian breast cancer patients for the study.


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