Risks and Benefits of Soy Isoflavones for Breast Cancer Survivors

Shaojung A. Hu

M. Tish Knobf

ONF 2004, 31(2), 249-263. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.249-263

Purpose/Objectives: To present state-of-the-art information about the risks and benefits of soy isoflavones for breast cancer survivors.

Data Sources: Published research articles, pertinent articles and books, and computerized databases.

Data Synthesis: Some epidemiologic data suggest that soy isoflavones play an important role in preventing breast cancer in Asian women and promoting women's health in a variety of ways. However, the use of soy isoflavones in women with breast cancer is controversial. Risks and benefits exist regarding the use of soy isoflavones by breast cancer survivors.

Conclusions: The use of soy isoflavones to promote health in breast cancer survivors remains controversial because of scant scientific data.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses should not only provide updated information to the public but also interpret research results carefully. More clinical trials need to be conducted on a longitudinal basis with the enrollment of breast cancer survivors.

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