What do I need to know about Soya?

When I was diagnosed with hormone response breast cancer back in June, I was given absolutely no advice about diet and lifestyle, and I’ve had to ask about everything, which I think is a little poor. I’m on zoladex & letrozole & am 30. Reading on here a lot of people seem to be avoiding soya products? is soya contra-indicative in hormone responsive situations? Also, is there any other good advice about diet & lifestyle that people have that I may have missed?

Have you searched on “soya” in the forums? There are several discussions - none with any conclusions. I avoid soya if I can as it has an affect on my innards. However it is in so many prepared foods these days that it is difficult to avoid it totally.

This is a good website to start researching nutrition: web.cancernutritioninfo.com/main.cfm?id=1

Hi Hannah,

You may be interested in reading BCC’s publication on diet and lifestyle. I’ve posted the link below. You can either download a copy or order one on line.


Kind regards,
Jo, Moderator

The advice from my onc, in view of my oes+ cancer, was to avoid it. There is a lot of conflicting research about soya. Some tells you it’s a good thing, and some tells you it’s bad. Another lot tells you it is good in some and not in others without an understanding of why this difference exists or who it will affect. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years and eaten soya til it came out of my ears! And I still got DCIS and invasive cancer in the same breast. So obviously I don’t have any faith in soya’s protective qualities and I avoid it like the plague.

Hi, it is such a difficult one isn’t it, we are told such conflicting advise. I too am veggie and have drunk soya milk with my breakfast cereal for about 6 years, previously we were told that diets high in soya like in Japan were good for preventing breast cancer and Japenese women have a lower incidence of breast cancer. I also suffer from sinus problems so am non dairy, if i drink milk my nose blocks and i can’t breathe, the soya finished all this for me.

I am on Arimidex so imagine my cancer is oestrogen positive, I am still drinking my soya milk about a mugful on my porridige every morning, I did try and stop it for a week and my horrendous sweats came back with a vengenance just when i was beginning to get on top of them. I went back to the soya and got more control again.

As the jury is out whether soya is bad or good i am sticking with my soya, i hear rice milk is pretty vile and that is my only other alternative. Phyto oestrogens are in everything we eat especially tomatoes which i adore and eat just like any other fruit, those cherry ones i just eat out of the tub like stawberries. It is going to be hard to avoid these things in everyday life and at the end of the day I want my normal life back. Perhaps there are far more harmful things than what we eat that cause BC or perhaps everyone would have it!

Eat what you enjoy is my moto and don’t knock yourself about that anything you do causes this blasted disease, I did the checklist of things that possibley could cause BC and i could tick everyone of them off the list as i did none of them, i was just very unlucky!

Enjoy life girls

V sensible Suzy

I miss my soya milk and yoghurt and think I will eat it again. As you say, Soya is in everything. Apparently broccoli is full of phyto oestrogens!! I once could only find one brand of bread in Tesco which didn’t have soya flour in it. If we avoid soya we need to avoid all processed food and lots of vegetables. I too have terrible problems with my sinus. Am almost constantly snotty or bunged up. Been like this for years. I blame the cat and all the dust in our house.

No one told me either I just happened to mention to bc nurse that I ate loads of soya ans she said “oohh you can’t do that”. Do they think we are all experts in bc. Same bc nurse told me to stay off the internet but then expects me to understand everything they tell me without explaing. I think she thibks I am a manic depressive as I am always crying when I ring her!!!

I’ve had some ‘other’ advice, and have stopped eating and drinking dairy products all together recently (but am taking calcium supplements) and am using Almond milk instead of cows milk. It’s really really nice on muesli & cereal and not bad in coffee either. It’s about £2.30 from most health food shops, and is just water with almonds really. If you like marzipan, it’s a good substitute!

Will try that Hannah. I love almonds and marzipan


I recently read in a Sunday mag that almonds help lower cholesterol… additional benefits.