Researchers have found that eating soy foods over a long time can improve the immune system’s ability to fight breast cancer tumors.

Breast cancer rates are on the rise

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Hands

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute say that there will be an increase by as much as 50 percent of breast cancer cases among women in the next 15 years. The increase will be in estrogen-receptive breast cancer – these tumors are fueled by the hormone estrogen.

Many of the cases will be in older women over age 70 – a reflection of our aging U.S. population. By 2030, approximately 440,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, up from 283,000 in 2011.

Our Western style of living provides the risk factors for breast cancer:

  • A fatty, processed and high sugar diet
  • Excess weight, especially in the mid-section
  • Lack of exercise
  • Exposure to hormones

Be proactive to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Eat a colorful plant-based diet, with most meals made at home
  • Enjoy daily walks and activity
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

More hopeful cancer studies from Georgetown University researchers have found that eating soy foods over a long time can improve the immune system’s ability to fight breast cancer tumors. This can reduce recurrence of the cancer. It seems to be the isoflavones in soy foods that offer protection. They are found in soy milk, yogurt and cheeses, tofu, tempeh and soy nut butters.

The good news in all of this, even with the increase in breast cancer cases, is that there is earlier detection through mammograms, better treatment, better access to treatment for all women, and thus a reduction in deaths rates– women are beating this disease.

Plant-based recipes with soy that may reduce risk of developing breast cancer:

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.