Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer
I had estrogen positive breast cancer in 1997. I had a lumpectomy and underwent both chemo and radiation. I took tamoxifan for the 5 years and have been blessed to be cancer free since. Having been estrogen positive I was advised to avoid soy, yet I've always read how healthy it is for you. But to be safe, I have since not had any. In all these years I have been confused--can I or can I not have soy? We are thinking about trying a vegan diet but reading how soy is a substantial staple in it I need to know how it will affect me. Thank you.
I am so happy to hear you've been cancer free. The soy debate is truly confusing, so you are right to be unsure as to which path to take.I am not a doctor so I cannot advise you on the best diet to remain cancer-free.
However, I can say that there is an abundance of food in the vegan world that is completely soy-free. People ask me this question a lot, and I always tell them that I personally do not eat much soy. It's not necessarily a conscious decision to avoid it, it's just that there are so many other options that I don't really come across that much soy.
Instead of soybeans, I eat kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, cannellini beans, split peas, and any other bean that looks good at the grocery store. Instead of soy milk, you can drink almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, rice milk, or coconut milk. You can also use any of those in baking. You can add flavor to your dishes with spices and salt rather than soy sauce.
The reality is that people who eat non-vegan processed food diets end up eating more soy than someone who eats a healthy, balanced, whole foods-based vegan diet. Soybean oil is used to fry tons of foods, and soy protein isolate is used as a stabilizer in many of those processed foods. When you are eating real foods, you can easily avoid those soy particulates, which I believe are the real issues. Whole soy products like tempeh and miso are likely not to lead to any problems.
To be safe, you can just be a vegan and avoid soy, if that's what you think is best for your health.