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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Is Soy Good For You with Karla Mans Giroux


Laura Carfang 00:03

Hello and welcome to breast cancer conversations podcast brought to you by surviving breast cancer dashboard. I am Laura Carfang breast cancer survivor and founder of surviving breast cancer dashboard, a nonprofit organization providing community education and resources to empower those diagnosed with breast cancer and their caregivers from day one and beyond.

Hello, everybody and welcome back to breast cancer conversations. It is so nice to be speaking with all of you today. If this is your first time tuning in, welcome. It's so nice to have you here. Please be sure to subscribe. We release our podcast once a week usually on Mondays so you can always have something to look forward to as we begin our week together. Before we jump into today's conversation, I just want to give a quick shout out to all of the great amazing resources we have on our website surviving breast All of our podcast listeners are invited to join us on Thursday nights for our Thursday night drivers meetup. We meet on zoom every Thursday at 7pm. Eastern you can RSVP from our website, and a zoom link will be emailed to you. We also send out weekly newsletters on Mondays and Fridays. We have an every other Sunday metastatic breast cancer series that we produce, as well as a once a month breast cancer book club that we host. The best part about the book club is that we don't read any books that have to do with cancer. It's pure escapism, a lot of fun. And we meet on the first Sunday of every month. You can check out what book we're reading again on our website. Today on the podcast, we are speaking with Karla who is not new to breast cancer conversations. She actually provided us with a beautiful 45 minute long episode where she shares with us everything she knows with regards to nutrition education around clean eating and living with metastatic breast cancer so I'll link to that full episode below. However, I wanted to pull out a short excerpt from that longer series because we want to focus on Phyto estrogens. If I breast cancer is ER positive, it can be very confusing to understand if we should be avoiding soy eating soy products, avoiding Phyto-estrogens etc. I am so excited to have Karla back on the episode to help us answer some of these questions. Welcome to the conversation.

Karla Mans Giroux 02:17

Now let's talk about Phyto estrogens and breast cancer and Laura and I talked a little bit about this ahead of time and I do like to share this information and it is controversial. But there are studies that show of course you'll always find on any topic study that's forward a study that's against but Phyto estrogens are plant based compounds that mimic estrogen because their chemical structure is very similar to that of estrogen from the body. They have been found to be beneficial in combating symptoms and conditions caused by estrogen deficiency. Therefore, this may be a particular benefit to pre and post-menopausal women who are having their hot flashes. Phyto-estrogens may also play a role in fighting cancer. However, it is still controversial and more research is absolutely needed to understand this. Unfortunately, they do not spend a lot of time and money on researching something that can't be patented. But there we are. There are studies that have revealed that high consumption of soy products is associated with low incidences of whore hormone dependent cancers, including breast and prostate. Soybeans contain the large amounts of isoflavones.

Previously, it's been demonstrated that genistein, one of the predominant soy isoflavones can inhibit several steps involved in carcinogenesis. So it can inhibit the development of cancer. It is suggested that genestein possesses mechanisms of action, including inhibition and modulation of different signaling pathways associated with the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, genestein is also a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis. Uncontrolled angiogenesis is considered a key step in cancer growth, invasion and metastasis. I see Dr. Keith Block of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in the Chicago area. I've talked to Dr. Block many times about soy and breast cancer and fighter estrogens and breast cancer. Dr. Block has told me that processed soy foods such as soy burgers typically contain very low amounts of that genestein and other soy items such as miso and soy sauce contain even less. In fact, he says a whole bottle of soy sauce contains only about six or seven milligrams of isoflavones, which would have no effect at all on breast cells, though it would be quite a lot of salt. So Dr. Bullock counsels that there is no need to pass on the tofu or the tempeh, so long as you're eating soy foods in moderation, just like anything else, and be sure your soy is non GMO. Dr. Block also stated in a 2016 article that he wrote, he stated in 2016, the studies suggested that eating moderate amounts of soy foods is safe for breast cancer survivors. In fact, in studies conducted by Dr. Anna H. Wu, and others at the University of Southern California, show that women who consume approximately one to two servings of soy food each day are not isolated soy supplements, you want to avoid those.

But if you eat soy food each day, you actually have a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence, or being diagnosed with the disease. And moreover, these studies, there were three studies in China and two in the US that provided further evidence that women who ate more soy have better survival after breast cancer diagnosis than those who ate the least soy.

Laura Carfang 06:20

Karla, as always, this has been so helpful, I am definitely going to look on PubMed, and I will link to some of these studies in the show notes below so that our readers and listeners will have access to this information. Thank you again, for everything that you do for our breast cancer community. It is always a pleasure having you on the podcast. Thank you for tuning in and listen to our podcast. If you would like to find out more about our organization and upcoming events and ways to connect. You can find out more by visiting our website at surviving breast And we'd like to acknowledge that all of the information on our podcast is from personal experiences and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your medical care team. If you're looking for specific topics or would like to be a guest on our show, feel free to contact me directly at Laura at surviving breast And of course, we have a couple social media handles you can follow us that as well. For example, surviving breast cancer org all one word, as well as our podcast specifically breast cancer conversations. Until next time, keep on thriving.


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September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET


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May 27,  6:00 p.m. ET


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Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 


Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 


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