Every year 53,000 people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer in women.
Each woman's diet was given an inflammatory score, using a method that links diet with inflammatory markers in the blood, and the women were then divided into 5 groups based on their score.
Soy products such as tofu are safe for women diagnosed with breast cancer, and may even prolong their survival, a new study has found. After an average follow-up of nine years, those patients who consumed high amounts had a risk of up to 21 percent lower death from any cause, compared to those with a minimal intake. "However, each woman's breast cancer risk is different based on numerous factors, including genetic predisposition, demographics, and lifestyle".
The study, in the International Journal of Cancer, was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund.
It's important to note that the study found only an association between an inflammatory diet and the risk of breast cancer, and can not prove that this type of diet caused the women's breast cancer.
"Epidemiological analyses in East Asian women with breast cancer found links between higher isoflavone intake and reduced mortality", said Zhang.
The decrease was strictly observed in women with the more aggressive form of the disease and in those who were not following treatments against oestrogens with tamoxifen, for example, which block the oestrogen effect.
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Professor Brandt said, "Our research can help to shine a light on how dietary patterns can effect our cancer risk".
In contrast to some previous research, high levels of isoflavone intake were not associated with greater mortality among women receiving hormonal therapy.
Researchers studied women who, as high schoolers, had consumed diets thought to increase levels of inflammation in the body.
"For women with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer, soy food products may potentially have a protective effect", she said. A weaker but significant association was also observed among women who did not undergo endocrine therapy treatment.
She added that soy food products can act as a shield for women diagnosed with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer. "Our findings suggest that survival may be better in patients with a higher consumption of isoflavones from soy food", John said.
The diet also involves moderate consumption of red wine, but because alcohol can up the risk of breast cancer it was eliminated from the study. They discovered that soy is not only good for breast cancer survivors, but it can act as protection against the disease.