Is Soya Safe For Women?

There has been a lot of attention in recent years about whether soya is safe for women or whether it can cause or exacerbate breast cancer because of the phyto-oestrogens it contains.

My own view has always been that it is positively beneficial for women – because it contains the phyto-oestrogens. The weaker soya oestrogens actually compete with the stronger body oestrogens at the receptor sites and that can have the effect of protecting women from oestrogen dominance and especially if the woman has a lot of the most risky oestrogen types (which you can see in a hormone test). Less strong or risky oestrogen at receptor sites means less risk of breast cancer. That’s how I see it anyway.

If, however, a woman is not producing a lot of oestrogen and is low (check your adrenals as they have to pick up the slack after 40ish!), the extra that comes from soya can really help pick levels up. But, women have been reluctant to follow that advice because of the soya breast cancer worry.

Anyway, I was interested to see an article in the Natural Medicine Journal today which gives more weight to the safety of soy. Have a read; it’s interesting if not totally conclusive research-wise (more needs to be done), but they do say:

To date, not a single study of moderate soy consumption has found detrimental effects in any women with a history of breast cancer (premenopausal or postmenopausal, ER-negative or ER-positive).

Soy and Breast Cancer

More research in defense of soy

That’s encouraging isn’t it? For more on oestrogen dominance, check the factsheet in the A-Z here:

Oestrogen Dominance

And for more on low oestrogen, check here:


Hope that helps! Just one last tip: make sure the soya foods you consume are good ones – none of yer soya protein isolates please, check the packets!!

Plant Compound for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Interesting for the future: plant compound for triple-negative breast cancer.

Is A Mammography Helpful?

Woman undergoing a mammogram of the right breast

Image via Wikipedia

I have long debated the sense in subjecting millions of healthy women to radiation in the form of mammography when the statistics don’t seem to stack up about them preventing deaths from breast cancer. Daily, I go from thinking it’s worth it to catch cancer early to the worry that thousands of women get false diagnoses, a dose of radiation and unnecessary worry. It’s a conundrum, not least because of the peer and medical pressure that comes as part of the screening programme.

John Briffa has recently written a good post about it, so check it out here: Researchers Give Mammography A Vote Of No Confidence. Others he has written are also worth checking out: BMJ piece asks serious questions about the effectiveness of mammography and Women kept in the dark about the facts about mammography.

If you search for ‘mammography’ at too you will come up with a lot more info. Read too the article linked below written by a breast cancer surgeon who basically reckons mass screening is a very different ballgame to diagnostic screening when there is a suspicion of a problem rather than looking for one in healthy women.

It’s a toughie and you need to make your own mind up. For what it’s worth, I do know that the majority of cancers are said to be picked up by breast examination, so it  pays to learn how to do this correctly and do it regularly. I would also think about checking for oestrogen dominance as this plays a big part in developing oestrogen-sensitive cancers like breast and endometrial. Ask me if you need more help on this, or check out the Cancer Factsheet on the site.