Looks Like Reducing Your Risk Of Breast Cancer Is Another Added Benefit Of Breastfeeding
I can’t believe I’m about to do the following two things: reference Sex and the City and also date myself that far back in an attempt at relevancy, but…I am. So deal with it. Remember that episode where Samantha is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her a-hole doctor totally shames her for it by telling her if she’d have had kids, she might not have breast cancer? Right. Well, even though he was a total a-hole, turns out even that show had some grain of medical truth to it.
A new study finds that women who breastfeed significantly reduce their risk of getting breast cancer down the road. Researchers found that breastfeeding produces a strong “protective effect”, especially in relation to particular types of tumors. The protection was strongest in women who had ahistory of breastfeeding for six months or longer.
Says lead reseracher Marilyn Kwan:
“This is the first study we’re aware of that examined the role of breastfeeding history in cancer recurrence, and by tumor subtype. 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.”
This is all well and good, of course, but I do wonder about the women who can’t–or choose not to–breastfeed. I know you can’t argue with science, but I hate that this is another thing that adds to the polarization of “to breastfeed, or not to breastfeed.” Some women really cannot do it. That is a very real thing. I dunno, it just makes me sad to think about I guess.
But yay for all the breastfeeding moms, especially you long-termers out there.