The role of breastfeeding in the prevention of breast cancer

The role of breastfeeding in the prevention of breast cancer

Breastfeeding not only nourishes and promotes the health of the baby, but may also contribute to maintaining the mother’s health and preventing breast cancer or reducing her risk of developing it.

This article is about the role of Breastfeeding in the prevention of breast cancer.

Breastfeeding and breast cancer prevention

Below is information on the role of breastfeeding in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women, according to several international organizations and studies:

  • According to the World Health Organization and the American Institute for Cancer Research, to achieve the benefits of breastfeeding in prevention breast cancerIt should be practiced for at least 6 months. [1]
  • According to one of the meta-analytic studies that included a reanalysis of data from 47 studies in 30 countries, the number of cases combined was 50,302 women with breast cancer and 96,973 women without cancer. It was found that: [2]
  • Women with breast cancer had fewer births than women without.
  • 4.3% lower risk of breast cancer in women who breastfed for a year (total continuation of breastfeeding for all children).
  • 7.0% lower risk of breast cancer at each birth.
  • Every time The total duration of breastfeeding The longer it lasts, the greater and more noticeable its role in preventing breast cancer and reducing the risk of developing it.
  • There were no significant differences in the reduced breast cancer risk rate associated with breastfeeding among women, which varied between several factors, such as:
  1. the age.
  2. ethnic origin.
  3. menopause.
  4. the number of births.
  5. The age of the woman at the time of giving birth to her first child.
  6. Presence in developing or developed countries.
  • According to a study published in 2019, breastfeeding may play a greater role in reducing the risk of certain types of breast cancer in particular, as it was observed that breastfeeding is associated with a greater reduction in the risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer compared to. Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. [3]

The relationship between breast cancer and breastfeeding

Although more research and studies are needed to clarify the reasons behind the association between breastfeeding and a lower risk of breast cancer, there are several possible explanations for this association, including: [1][4]

  • Breastfeeding is accompanied by changes in the level of many hormones in the body, which leads to the delay or absence of the menstrual cycle in a lactating woman throughout the entire or most of the breastfeeding period, which means a reduced rate of exposure to some hormones associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, especially androgens, such as Estrogen.
  • Breastfeeding is accompanied by continuous shedding and peeling of the breast tissue, which contributes to the elimination and removal of precancerous cells, including those that are abnormal or have damage to their DNA.

It is worth noting that breastfeeding may also contribute reduce the risk of ovarian cancerAs a result of the accompanying hormonal changes in the body that may prevent ovulation, and the lower the ovulation rate in a woman, the lower the exposure to estrogen, which may promote the growth of cancer cells. [1]

Read also: breast cancer prevention

Frequently asked questions about breastfeeding and breast cancer

Here are some questions related to breastfeeding and breast cancer:

Is it possible to get breast cancer while breastfeeding?

Yes, but it’s an order rare Common, as it is estimated that only 3% of women may develop breast cancer while breastfeeding. [5]

Is mammography safe while breastfeeding?

The new guidelines of the American College of Radiology recommend not to postpone the regular mammogram if you are breastfeeding or if you suspect or fear that you may have breast cancer.

However, due to the increased density of the breast tissue during breastfeeding, it may be a little difficult to detect any abnormalities in the breast, however, it is recommended not to postpone the mammogram if necessary.

It is recommended to empty the breasts before the scan, to reduce discomfort during the scan and make it easier to read the mammogram. [6]

Is breastfeeding safe in case of breast cancer?

Whether the mother can breastfeed her child in case of breast cancer depends mainly on the treatment plan, because even though the cancer cannot pass to the baby, some of the cancer treatments may be secreted through the milk, and may cause side effects and damage to the baby. baby. [6]

More: breast cancer while breastfeeding

My 59-year-old mother has a tumor in her right breast, invasive ductal carcinoma, the tumor is large locally and we won’t be able to meet, God willing, will the treatment in this case be chemical or hormonal and I want to know the difference between chemical and hormonal, and which one is less and better, and is this type of cancer dangerous? ?

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