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Breast Cancer Risk: Does Soy Help?

Studies Suggest That Eating Soy May Slightly Lower Risk of Developing Breast Cancer

Complexity of Cancer

Ads for soy supplements make a wide range of health claims about the products. Studies examining the role of soy in reducing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms have been mixed, however, and most have not shown a protective benefit for lowering cholesterol and preventing Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis.

Trock says it is not surprising that the soy studies and most other studies examining the role of specific foods in cancer risk have failed to show clear associations.

"Cancer takes decades to develop and it is influenced by many things," he notes. "People want to know in simple terms what they can do to reduce their risk, and we can't always tell them. We have to get across the idea that cancer is a complicated process. If we are lucky we may find that a single food or a single nutrient is protective, but so far that hasn't happened."

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