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Soy Chemicals May Lower Risk for Invasive Breast Cancer
Date:11/9/2010

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The more isoflavone-containing soy products a young woman eats, the lower her odds for developing invasive breast cancers, according to research slated to be presented at a meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research in Philadelphia.

That was among the good news, but other research at the meeting found that hormone replacement therapy might raise women's odds for ovarian cancer.

The soy study looked specifically at isoflavones, organic compounds found in certain foods. These compounds contain antioxidants that are thought to be protective against breast cancer.

The study included 683 women with breast cancer and 611 women without the disease. It found that participants who consumed the most isoflavones had a 30 percent lower risk of developing an invasive tumor.

Examining the data more closely, researchers found that among premenopausal women, those who consumed the most isoflavones had a 30 percent decreased risk of early, stage I disease, a 70 percent decreased risk of having a tumor larger than 2 centimeters, and a 60 percent decreased risk of having stage 2 breast cancer. These connections were not seen among postmenopausal women, the researchers reported.

"Eating isoflavones seems to be associated mainly with breast cancer characteristics that are more treatable and less severe than other types," said study lead author Anne Weaver, a graduate student at the University at Buffalo and a research apprentice with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. She and the other researchers noted that the findings were not definitive and needed to be confirmed through further research.

"The biggest source of isoflavones are soy and soy products but they're also found in beans, cooked cereal, potato chips, coffee, cookies and cake," Weaver said. She cautioned that the overall intake of soy in the study was low -- i
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