Soy product and isoflavone intake and breast cancer risk defined by hormone receptor status

Cancer Sci. 2010 Feb;101(2):501-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2009.01376.x. Epub 2009 Sep 29.


The association between soy food consumption and breast cancer risk has been inconsistent. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted to assess the relationship between soy food intake and breast cancer risk according to the estrogen receptor (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) status of breast cancer in Chinese women residing in Guangdong province from June 2007 to August 2008. A total of 438 consecutively recruited cases with primary breast cancer were frequency matched to 438 controls by age (5-year interval) and residence (rural/urban). Dietary intake was assessed by face-to-face interviews using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained by using multiple unconditional logistic regression adjusted for the potential confounders. We observed a statistically significant inverse association between soy isoflavone and soy protein intake with breast cancer risk. The multivariate ORs (95% CIs) of breast cancer risk for the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile were 0.54 (0.34-0.84) for soy isoflavone and 0.62 (0.40-0.96) for soy protein, respectively. A preventive effect of soy food was found for all subtypes of ER and/or PR status of breast cancer. The inverse association was more evident among premenopausal women. This study suggests that consumption of soy food, soy isoflavone, is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer. The protective effects of soy did not seem to differ by ER and PR breast cancer status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage*
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis*
  • Risk
  • Soy Foods*


  • Isoflavones
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone