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11-12-2017 | Breast cancer | Article

Dietary intake of soy and cruciferous vegetables and treatment-related symptoms in Chinese-American and non-Hispanic White breast cancer survivors

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Authors: Sarah J. O. Nomura, Yi-Ting Hwang, Scarlett Lin Gomez, Teresa T. Fung, Shu-Lan Yeh, Chiranjeev Dash, Laura Allen, Serena Philips, Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, Yun-Ling Zheng, Judy Huei-yu Wang

Publisher: Springer US



This project was undertaken to examine the association between dietary intake of soy or cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer treatment-related symptoms among Chinese-American (CA) and Non-Hispanic White (NHW) breast cancer survivors.


This cross-sectional study included 192 CA and 173 NHW female breast cancer survivors (stages 0–III, diagnosed between 2006 and 2012) recruited from two California cancer registries, who had completed primary treatment. Patient-reported data on treatment-related symptoms and potential covariates were collected via telephone interviews. Dietary data were ascertained by mailed questionnaires. The outcomes evaluated were menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, vaginal discharge), joint problems, fatigue, hair thinning/loss, and memory problems. Associations between soy and cruciferous vegetables and symptoms were assessed using logistic regression. Analyses were further stratified by race/ethnicity and endocrine therapy usage (non-user, tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors).


Soy food and cruciferous vegetable intake ranged from no intake to 431 and 865 g/day, respectively, and was higher in CA survivors. Higher soy food intake was associated with lower odds of menopausal symptoms (≥ 24.0 vs. 0 g/day, OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.25, 1.03), and fatigue (≥ 24.0 vs. 0 g/day, OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.22, 0.84). However, when stratified by race/ethnicity, associations were statistically significant in NHW survivors only. Compared with low intake, higher cruciferous vegetable intake was associated with lower odds of experiencing menopausal symptoms (≥ 70.8 vs. < 33.0 g/day, OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.25, 0.97) in the overall population.


In this population of breast cancer survivors, higher soy and cruciferous vegetable intake was associated with less treatment-related menopausal symptoms and fatigue.

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