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Diet and Nutrition By popular demand our nutritional message board. This board will be monitored by a Registered RD who is certified in oncology by the American Dietetic Association

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 45
What about Soy???

Confused. My cancer is only HER2 positive. So do I need to avoid soy? Heard it acts like a hormone but is that just for cancers that are estrogen/progestrone positive?
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Re: What about Soy???

I am same profile as you. I have tofu about once a week. I think the issue with soy is more for ER+ or PR + folks. I would not take soy supplements though. But then I don't take many supplements, just Omega 3, calcium and Vit D.
There are other folks on this support site more experienced than me, however, and I would like them to comment too.
Dx Nov 2010 at age 65 - 3.5 cm invasive ductal, 8 of 15 nodes. ER-,PR-, HER+++. Lumpectomy, chemo, 6 weeks rads, 52 weeks herceptin finished April 2012.
CAT,PET, bone scan, ultrasound and mammogram in Spring 2012 - NED.
Cherishing every day, but realistically "watching my back" (or should I say "front"?
Eating foods thought to fight cancer, exercising every other day,using my garden as my mecca of peace, and loving my supportive husband more than ever.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Somerset, NJ
Posts: 487
Re: What about Soy???

There are several entries for soy in this list:


Some forms of soy are good; others not so much. Edited to add: Apparently it's not so good for us HER2+ women:

On the other hand, a small Korean study reported that soybean and soy isoflavone consumption was found to be associated with increased risk of recurrence among women with HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) tumors, whereas it reduced risk of relapse in women with HER2- disease.

I believe there's currently a study in which women are given a soy pill to take daily for a year, but I don't think results will be ready for some time. (You can find information about it on the Army of Women site.)

As for me, I wouldn't eat soy unless there were nothing else available, and even then, I'd have to be pretty hungry. Soy has a terrible effect on the thyroid gland.

2/6/09 Core needle biopsy: negative; Mammos through 2010: no change
3/30/11 Pea-sized lump in left breast at site of prior biopsy; mammo negative, sonogram not so much
4/14/11 Core needle biopsy: negative for cancer
5/18/11 Excisional biopsy 1.2 cm tumor, LVI, positive margin; ER+60%,PR+20%,HER2/CEP17 5
6/15/11 BMX: Left DCIS & LH; Right ADH; SNB: 2/3 nodes: 1.4 cm and 1 mm; ALND L1&2: 0/10; Stage IIa, Grade 3
7/14/11 CT/Bone scans NED; MUGA 66%
7/19/11 Biweekly dd AC w/Neulasta; done 8/30/11
9/13/11 Transfusion (Hemoglobin 8.6); MUGA 64%
9/20/11 Start Taxol + Herceptin; Taxol done 12/6/2011; continue Herceptin until 9/4/2012
12/27/11 Radiation - 6 weeks; 2/27/2012 - DONE! Yayyyy!
2/29/12 Start Tamoxifen 20 mg/day; continue until 2/28/17
5/16/12 Start five-years Metformin trial
6/19/12 MUGA 61%
8/21/12 Brain MRI NED (head still hurts, brain still fogged)
9/4/12 Herceptin done!
9/6/12 Port out!
7/11/13 Aricept 5mg for cognitive impairment; increased to 10mg as of 8/23/13; back to 5mg 12/2013
5/2014 Add Namenda 7mg
9/2014 Stop Aricept and Namenda; Neuropsychological evaluation
10/24/14 Start cognitive rehabilitation therapy

Last edited by rhondalea; 11-14-2012 at 06:49 PM.. Reason: additional information
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 358
Re: What about Soy???

Initial studies on soy and breast cancer strongly suggested that women with breast cancer (and men with prostate cancer) should not consume soy. However, more recent studies offer just the opposite indication. In fact, some studies indicate a synergistic effect between soy and tamoxifen. It appears safe to contain soy foods in moderation even after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Mark Messina, who has spent his career studying the topic, published a review of the literature about a year ago. Here is a link.


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Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: El Paso ,Tx
Posts: 436
Re: What about Soy???

My Dr said it is ok in moderation. If I eat it I have it maybe once or twice a month. I have read some of the studies that have been posted here. They have specific guide lines as to how much per day you can consume. Since I don't take it daily I feel my consumption levels are below what they say is safe.
dx: DCIS 6/8/10, HER 2+ 7/26/10; Stage I Age 41
Double mast w reconstruction
6 TCH w 1yr herceptin
25 radiation tx
Removal of expander on L due to infection. Tried to save it had 3 bouts of antibiotics and went to see plastic surgeon 2-3x wk to get drained. Saving it was my idea not his. But lost it anyway.
Reconstruction set for December 21st,2011
Finished chemo 12/2010
Finished Herceptin 8/26/11
Reconstruction 12/21/11
Expanders exchanged for silicon 3/19/12
Nipple reconstruction 5/18/12
Nipple tatooing- 7/9/12- All done yay!
11/22/12-Went back to get scar tissue stretched to even the outside of breast, didn't work due to it being radiated skin.
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