A recent study published on April 28th of this year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has concluded that women with cancer who breast-fed their babies were less likely to get a recurring case of cancer or die from the disease than women who did not breastfeed.
Marilyn Kwan, research scientist at Kaiser Permanente’s division in Oakland California and author of the study, stated: “We found in this study of over 1,600 women with breast cancer those who previously breast-fed had a 30 percent overall decreased risk of their breast cancer recurring. We also found those who previously breast-fed had a 28 percent reduced risk of dying from their breast cancer.”
Other past studies have also reaffirmed what many doctors believe – that nursing is not only good for the baby, but for the mother’s health as well. Although there are many factors to consider, medical researchers believe that breastfeeding can reduce your chances of getting cancer by up to 10 percent.
During the study, doctors identified a link between breastfeeding women and luminal A cancer. Luminal A tumors are the most commonly diagnosed form of breast cancer. They are less likely to metastasize and can be treated with hormonal therapy. The outcome was greatest for women who had a history of breastfeeding for six months or more.
Dr. Kwan also said, “Women who breastfeed are more likely to get the luminal A subtype of breast cancer, which is less aggressive, and breastfeeding may set up a molecular environment that makes the tumor more responsive to anti-estrogen therapy.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends trying to exclusively nurse your baby up to six months old and then continue nursing while adding foods for up to a year or longer. In addition to the health of the mother, pediatricians believe there are significant benefits to the baby such as protecting them from diabetes and becoming overweight.
If you are looking for a well women care and OB/GYN doctor whom you can feel comfortable with performing your women’s wellness exam, please schedule an appointment at our Lake City or Gainesville locations with one of our highly experienced and caring doctors.