Monday, January 11, 2010

Can you say Soy?

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told that I am Estrogen and Progesterone positive meaning that estrogen and progresterone running through my body added fuel to the fire, so to speak, by allowing cancer cells to attach onto it and grow.

It is for this reason that I currently take Tamoxifen and will continue to take it for the next 4 years if not more.  Tamoxifen blocks the estrogen from attaching to any rogue cancer cells.  It is also for this reason that I have significantly reduced the amount of soy that I have in my diet.  Soy acts like an estrogen and the research up until this point has been very very inconclusive on the effects that soy has on estrogen positive breast cancer survivors like myself.

Now, don't think that I was a soy-aholic before my diagnosis, I wasn't.  I don't like soy milk, I don't eat tofu unless it is in hot and sour soup, I don't buy soy bacon or tofutti or anything else that is suppposed to make you think you are eating meat.  But here's the problem, soy is in EVERYTHING.  Take a look at your labels, there is soy in salad dressings, bread, soups, sauces, cereal.  Everything has some form of soy in it which makes it very difficult when you are trying to avoid it.   

Since giving up sugar and sugar substitutes, I have become an avid label reader so while I can't in all honesty say I have given up soy, I can say that I avoid it as often as possible because it was my understanding that it might increase my chances of a recurrence.

Finally, there is a study that says this just might not be the case. This study says that maybe, just maybe, soy is helpful in preventing a recurrence even for people like me who are estrogen positive and taking Tamoxifen.  Could it be true that I can go to one of my favorite restaurants, PF Changs, and order the edamame and eat it without concern??   That I can give my children soy milk without worrying about their personal breast cancer risk??

Three cheers for soy!  I'm going out to find some edamame....


Anonymous said...

I believe fermented soy (such as tofu, miso) is fine. It's unfermented (soy milk, edamame) that act as estrogen and feed our cancer.

And to think I was consuming soy because I thought it was better for me!


Andrea Ross

Maurice said...

I didn't realize that soy was in everything. That's interesting. I thought you had to eat soy beans or Edamame in the bag from the frozen section. I like edamame but don't eat if often or tofu, although I like it just not as familiar with cooking it. Only when I get to go out to an asian restaurant.