Giving Breast Milk Reduces the Risk of Breast Cancer

The risk of a woman gaining breast cancer is indeed higher if one family member has cancer. Therefore women in this group are strongly advised to give their babies breast milk.

In a long-term study of 60,000 women, it was found that women who had a history of breast cancer in their immediate family (mother or sister) had a very significant reduction in risk if they breastfed their babies.

“Breastfeeding is not only good for babies but also for mothers,” said lead researcher Dr.Alison M.Stuebe from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.

The conclusion of this study was obtained from a survey of 60,075 newborn nurses and participated in the Nurse’s Health Study study which took place between 1997 and 2005.

At the end of June 2005, there were 608 women (around one percent) who had breast cancer at the age of about 46 years. Besides, the researchers also reported that women whose immediate family had breast cancer had a reduced risk of 59 percent if they breastfed their babies.

This reduction in the risk of developing cancer is more seen in women who have a very high risk and do hormone therapy for the prevention of breast cancer. Whereas in women who have no history of cancer there is no known relationship between breastfeeding and the incidence of cancer.

However, Stuebe found that women who did not breastfeed but took drugs to suppress milk production, had a cancer risk 42 percent lower compared to women who did not breastfeed or did not use drugs to suppress milk production.

According to researchers, if a woman does not breastfeed, the tissue in her breasts will return to the way it was before pregnancy, and this can cause inflammation. Very progressive inflammation is known to be associated with breast cancer.

“Our hypothesis is that women who breastfeed or consume suppressant drugs for breast milk production will prevent inflammation,” the researchers said in a report published in the scientific journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Unfortunately, there are still some women who consider giving breast milk to babies often regarded as outdated and damaging to body shape.

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