Confused about my soya milk!

Confused about my soya milk!

Confused about my soya milk! I was first diagnosed back in March 2003 and like lots of bc survivors, made the token effort to switch to soya milk, but carried on eating dairy (cream, cheese and yoghurt).

Then when my recurrence was diagnosed in Sept 2006, I did a lot more reading about the subject and thought I should probably go back to dairy milk, as my cancer is ER+ (amounts of oestrogen in milk are tightly regulated and almost negligible in Europe, whereas soya milk is known to be rich in phyto-oestrogens).

But in Jan, I attended a BCC Healthy Living Day (which was excellent BTW!), where one of the guest speakers was an Oncology Dietician who said that it made absolutely no difference whether you use dairy or soya milk, since the amounts of oestrogens and phyto-oestrogens are so low anyway.

And now I have read on various threads here that many of you have been advised by your onc to cut out soya milk and other phyto oestrogens!!!

Confused is an understatement… If the medical profession can’t agree, how on earth are we supposed to make an informed decision? HELP!

I, too, would like clarification on this one.

My onc advised cutting out oestrogenic supplements ('cos they are manufactured), but said there was no evidence to cut out ANY food, whether they be phytoestrogens,or not.

It is so confusing, isn’t it?


Hi, my onc said I’d be best avoiding significant sources of phyto oestrogen. After discussing this with him further, his advice was not to consume large amounts of soya, or take supplements which are known to be significant sources of phyto oestrogen, i.e some of the supplements recommended for dealing with menopausal symptoms. I also avoid flaxseed - I was taking flaxseed capsules as they’re a good source of omegas for veggies like me- but I don’t take them now. So now I treat it a bit like drinking- everything in moderation. There is a lot of conflicting advice about soya and phyto oestrogen. It seems that some researchers feel they’re a good thing and mop up excess oestrogen whilst others say they act like oestrogen in respect of oestrogen+ cancer. It seems oestrogen can act in different ways in different people ( according to stuff I’ve read). How they act in an individual seems to be a bit like playing russian roulette, it seems no-one can say for sure how they are going to act in each individual person. Due to all this conflicting info,and the advice of my onc, I avoid major sources of phyto oestrogen. As a vegetarian whose main source of protein for over 20 years was soya, I’m obviously not convinced by the “soya protects” argument as I still got breast cancer. Maybe I’m one of the people who it does n’t have a positive effect in- I lost the game of Russian roulette. I also realise there are a lot of other factors that influence whether or not an individual gets BC. Personally I don’t feel there is a “one size fits all” way of dealing with or addressing BC. When it comes to diet, I eat as I’ve always done, sensibly and healthily, only organic, only fresh, but I’ve cut out the soya.

I have taken flaxseed for years.

There is a school of thought which suggests flaxseed has a potent anti-oestrogenic effect on oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.

I continue to take it. My HER2+ tumour was very small and fortunately hadn’t gone anywhere. I do wonder whether the flaxseed had an inhibitory effect.

All speculation, of course.


Flaxseed How do you take your flaxseed? Where can I get some for my mum?

I get flaxseed from a health food shop and sprinkle about a tablespoonful on my cereal every day. Some people prefer to grind it, but my digestion copes well with it unground.

Hope this helps your mum.


From my reading brown flaxseed has phyto oestrogen but golden does not- supposed to be in husk. Used to alternate between B & G but now stick to G- was what I read accurate? Any one have more info? dilly