Soy and the risk of death after breast cancer diagnosis

breast-cancer-ribbonjpgResearchers at the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, evaluated the association between soy food after breast cancer diagnosis and mortality.

First, the details.

  • 5042 breast cancer survivors in China were followed for 4 years.
  • Information on diagnosis and treatment, lifestyle exposures after cancer diagnosis, and disease progression was collected at approximately 6 months.
  • Cancer diagnosis was reassessed at 18, 36, and 60 months after diagnosis.

And, the results.

  • There were 444 deaths and 534 recurrences or breast cancer-related deaths in 5033 surgically treated breast cancer patients.
  • Higher soy food intake, as measured by soy protein or soy isoflavone, was associated with less mortality and recurrence.
  • When the highest and lowest soy intake was compared, 4-year mortality rates were 10% and 7%, and the 4-year recurrence rates were 11% and 8%, respectively.
  • The inverse association was evident among women with either estrogen receptor-positive or -negative breast cancer in both users and nonusers of tamoxifen.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Among women with breast cancer, soy food consumption was significantly associated with decreased risk of death and recurrence.”

Earlier this year, the Vanderbilt researchers reported that the same study showed there was “strong evidence of a protective effect of soy food intake against premenopausal breast cancer.”

12/10/09 20:26 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.