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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Dec 9, 2009

Soy Boosts Survival in Breast Cancer Patients

Soy consumption improves breast cancer survival, according to a report in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that women diagnosed with breast cancer who consume soy products, such as soymilk, tofu, or edamame, have a 32 percent lower risk of recurrence and a 29 percent decreased risk of death, compared with women who consume little or no soy. The report included 5,042 women in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study, the largest population-based study of breast cancer survival, and followed them for a four-year period.

In the past, soy has been a controversial topic for cancer patients. However, an editorial accompanying this new study suggests that inconsistencies in prior research may be attributable to the comparatively low soy consumption in the United States, making beneficial effects harder to identify. In China, soy intake is higher and diets tend to include traditional food sources of soy, rather than soy supplements.


  1. Shu XO, Zheng Y, Cai H, et al. Soy food intake and breast cancer survival. JAMA. 2009;302:2437-2443.
  2. Ballard-Barbash R, Neuhouser ML. Challenges in design and interpretation of observational research on health behaviors and cancer survival. JAMA. 2009;302:2483-2484.

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