To Soy or Not To Soy…Will It Help my Hotflashes?

So, here I am, nearly two years out of my hysterectomy, and the hotflashes still hit hot and heavy. And when I say hot, I mean OMG I’M DYING HOT.

I’ve heard many things about soy – use it to help with the hotflashes (better than OTC hormone treatments – which I can’t take).  I’ve heard to stay away from soy because it can mimic the hormones that caused my cancer.  I’ve asked my oncologist about it, and he’s fine with me taking it (not that I noticed a big difference in the hot flashes)…but he also advised not to use too much soy in my diet.

So, out of curiosity, I looked up the position my cancer treatment center takes.  Here is an excerpt from the study:


Evidence suggesting that soy may help prevent hormone-related cancers, such as breast, prostate, and uterine cancer, comes from population studies. These studies look at large numbers of people and have found that eating a diet high in soy protein may lower the risk of developing these kinds of cancers.

But the studies do not present a simple picture. For example, most studies that have found a lower risk of breast cancer have looked at Asian women, who typically eat a lot of soy. The studies that have looked at Western women have not all found a lower risk of breast cancer, although an analysis of 18 previously published studies found that in healthy women, soy was associated with a small (14%) reduction in breast cancer risk. Some studies suggest that a woman may get the best protection if she eats a diet high in soy when she is young, rather than when she goes through menopause.

The findings are also complicated when it comes to prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that the rates of prostate cancer are similar in Asian and Western countries, but more Western men than Asian men (who eat more soy) die from prostate cancer. But other studies show that men who eat a diet high in soy may have a lower risk of prostate cancer, although researchers aren’t sure if that is because of what they eat. Other researchers note that as Japanese men age, their prostate size doesn’t grow as much as it does in Western men, and think that a high soy diet may be the reason why.

Source: Soy | University of Maryland Medical Center
University of Maryland Medical Center
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So, I’m still confused.  What do you think?  Use it?  Don’t use it?  What’s your position on soy?

4 thoughts on “To Soy or Not To Soy…Will It Help my Hotflashes?

  1. I heard that phytoestrogens present in soy and flax jump into the estrogen receptors and block them from the more harmful normal estrogen. It seems to make some kind of sense. However, I’ve been on the soy for years due to hubby’s lactose intolerance, and have still ended up with breast cancer mets in bones and liver. Perhaps I would have had it all sooner if I hadn’t been so soyed up!

  2. My oncologist told me that I could have one serving of soy per day. I am vegetarian, so had previously sometimes eaten more than that. It didn’t help with hot flashes for me. I wish you relief!

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