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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save your Boobies–Breast Feed your Babies.

Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer
One of the biggest reductions comes from a subject that is not mentioned much in all the publicity about Breast Cancer, Breastfeeding. In the July 20, 2002, issue of The Lancet  researchers showed that the more babies a woman has and the longer she nurses them, the lower her risk of breast cancer  The researchers also looked at how breastfeeding and pregnancy would affect the risk of breast cancer if women in developed countries had the same number of babies and breastfed them as long as women in developing countries. They found that the risk of breast cancer would be cut by more than half and that almost two thirds of the reduced risk was due to breastfeeding alone.  Not only does breast feeding reduce the mother’s rate of breast cancer it also has the same affect on the infant daughter. A 1994 study showed a 25% lower risk of developing both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer for women who were breastfed, even if only for a short time when compared to their peers who were formula-fed as infants. That's a significant reduction in risk.
So, why isn’t Susan G.Komen talking about supporting more moms in breastfeeding to lower the cost of breast cancer? (Here is what they say on their website - Although data are limited, breastfeeding for less than one year may also modestly lower breast cancer risk.) Why are more doctors telling women to breast feed to save their boobies?  What do you think?
Even if you have several pregnancies and breastfeed each baby, you may still develop breast cancer. Having breast tissue alone puts you at risk of breast disease. (My ob./gyn who was a male got breast cancer) Keep doing your monthly breast self exam to check for changes in your breasts and if you are over 40 get regular exams by your doctor.


Crunchy Con Mommy said...

Thanks for sharing this info! I think Komen etc shy away from it to avoid offending or causing guilt in women who formula fed, especially those who developed cancer (or whose daughter did). But it could save so many lives if more women did know!

Allison said...

Whoa. Talk about damning with faint praise. I wish they were as direct as you were about the benefits of breastfeeding.

My dad, a retired breast surgeon, told me self-exams are fine, but by the time you find a lump - if it is cancerous - you are very far progressed. He felt the best prevention was to have your babies and breastfeed them - before age 30 if possible.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Allison, I knew I was going out on a limb to say this but as your Dad said it is the best way to prevent breast cancer. I am glad you added the before age 30 if possible because that is important too. This is a very controversial subject and for better or worse I take these on here. I also did not know that one would be far progressed by the time you can feel the lump.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Crunchy Con Mommy, I completely agree with you on that one, we don't want to guilt women who do not breast feed, so we don't education women that breastfeeding is the best way to prevent breast cancer in both the mom and daughter. As my great grandmother the midwife said. God gave you those things for your baby, not your husband, (her words, not mine).

Allison said...

Well, it gets back to: what are breasts for? Breasts are for feeding babies. I did not even meet my husband until I was 28 and didn't marry until 30. I had huge fertility issues so no babies until I turned 33. But...really our bodies' peak fertility is like age 20 or 21 so it makes sense that trying to have at least one breast fed baby before 30 would be the best way to care for your breast health.

I even told our young babysitter (she was in college at the time) "Try to have your babies before 30 and she did! Someone actually listened to me! Now I have two teens in the house and that happens less and less frequently.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Allison, I am in your boat too. I did not get married until I was 28 and had my first at 31. I have told my daughters to have their babies in their twenties and breastfeed. They are 13 and 11. So far they are listening to me.

Katie@NFP and Me said...

Thanks for sharing this info! It definitely needs to get out! :)

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Katie, on if people really knew that the best way to prevent breast cancer was to breastfeed.

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