whom it may concern:
i believe that a vegetarian diet
with soy isoflavone in soy products is good for breast cancer.
isn't it that only estradiole and estrione are the only harmful estrogens
to breast cancer patients? and not estriole? please, check
that a vegetarian diet and soy can only maintain a weak and harmless
estriole in the body of a breast cancer patient.
i think we should concentrate
more on restricting hormone fed livestocks in breast cancer diets than
thank you for your attention
on the matter.
more power to your site.
a breast cancer patient from
I agree with your sentiments that trying to do things that will protect
our food supply would be energy wisely spent. With cancer, prevention
is the best treatment. Unfortunately, although there are a great
many things that might be implicated in causing cancer that could easily
be changed, little money or effort goes toward that. The vast
majority goes to treating cancer once it appears.
The science on meat consumption and cancer risk has been very confusing
in the past. Currently my feeling is that it is not as simple
as a vegetarian diet protects against cancer and meat eaters get cancer.
I wish it were. Instead there are many factors involved;here are
three that come to mind immediately.
a. Diets high in meat that is overcooked drastically
increase cancer, especially breast cancer rates. Women, for
example, who prefer well done meat have 12 times the breast cancer
rate as women who prefer less cooked meat.
b. Vegetarians eat more fruits and vegetables than meat
eaters. Consumption of fruits and vegetables plays a more significant
role than whether someone is a vegetarian or not. Vegetarians eat less
fat in general, another risk factor for breast cancer. c.
Vegetarians frequently have lower Vitamin B-12 status. This is,
by itself, a risk for breast cancer.
The research on soy products and soy isoflavones is not clear.
Most arguments in favor of soy being protective against breast cancer
begin with the assumption that Japanese women get less breast cancer
because they eat soy. There are a number of other explanations
for their lower breast cancer incidence. For example, they start
menstruating at a later age, a clearly protective factor. They
eat more fish. They eat more fermented foods (a risk factor for
gastric cancer but possibly protective against breast cancer).
The laboratory research on soy show a dual effect on cancer. High
concentrations of genestein slow breast cancer cell growth and sound
very exciting. Unfortunately at low concentrations, genestein
actually stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells. It appears
that even with the most conscientious oral consumption of soy products
it is impossible to raise tissue levels into the range where soy inhibits
breast cancer cell growth.
There are three main estrogens in human metabolism:
E1 and E2 are considered strong estrogens, having the greatest estrogen
effect on the body, producing secondary sexual characteristics, stopping
hot flashes, and also stimulating cancer cell growth. There has
been a long standing theory that E3, estradiol, is a weaker estrogen,
and might be protective against breast cancer by preventing the binding
of the strong stimulatory estrogens to breast cells. This theory
may hold for cancer prevention but it is not clear that it holds for
existing cancer. The idea has been around for years that soy will
also bind to the estrogen receptors and prevent estrogen effect.
The problem is that soy does appear to have enough estrogen like effect
that, again at low doses, it stimulates breast cancer cells more than
it inhibits it.
At this point the jury is
still out whether breast cancer patients should consume any soy or whether
they should consume a lot of soy. In some situations I present
my patients with a choice that goes, "This might help you, it won't
hurt so why don't you try it?" In the case of soy, the story
is different, "This might help you or it might hurt you, it's one
or the other and we aren't sure."
Hippocrates said the primary
role of the physician, was to first and foremost, do no harm.
I cannot suggest soy to women with breast cancer at this time.