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AACR: Soy Intake May Protect Against Breast Cancer

Strongest effect seen in childhood consumption

TUESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Lifelong soy consumption is independently protective against breast cancer in Asian women living in the United States, with the strongest protective effect seen in childhood intake, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting, held in Boston.

Larissa Korde, M.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues presented data from a population-based case-control study of breast cancer in 597 Asian-American women with breast cancer and 966 controls without cancer who responded to questions about soy intake and lifestyles. The mothers of a subset of 255 participants answered questions about early childhood soy intake.

Childhood soy intake was strongly and significantly linked to protection against breast cancer. In childhood, the adjusted relative risk for soy consumption was 0.42; in adolescence 0.77; and in adulthood 0.71. An inverse association with childhood soy intake and breast cancer was seen in all women and in those with and without a family history of breast cancer.

"Soy intake during childhood, adolescence and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer, with the strongest and most consistent effect seen for childhood intake. Soy itself seemed to be protective, and not simply a marker of Asian lifestyles," the authors conclude.

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