"Breastfeeding protects against breast cancer"
You may have heard that breastfeeding is good for babies. When you breastfeed, your baby can grow up healthy thanks to various immune substances and antibodies in it. It is an ideal food for your baby because it is rich in minerals and essential nutrients such as iron.
Also, breastfeeding is good for mothers as well as babies!!
1. Longer breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Numerous researches have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer, which has become a huge issue in the medical community. A meta-analysis of collecting and analyzing several credible data showed that breastfeeding for 5 months reduced the risk of breast cancer by 3 percents, and breastfeeding for 12 months reduced the risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percents. In other words, the longer breastfeeding, the less risk of cancer.
2. How can breastfeeding reduce the risk of cancer?
Breastfeeding increases the differentiation of breast cells, thereby reduces the likelihood of future changes to cancer cells. It also reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer by lower sex hormone exposure during amenorrhea accompanying lactation. In this regards, earlier pregnancy and more children are correlated to lower risk of breast cancer.
In addition, large detachment of breast tissue occurs during breastfeeding, which is a good protective effect against carcinogenesis because it removes cells with potential DNA damage.
3. Not all breast cancers are prevented by breastfeeding.
There are sex hormone-related breast cancers as well as breast cancers unresponsive to sex hormone. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer, but does not prevent it completely. Therefore, there are several other risk factors you have to beware of.
- World Cancer Research Fund & American Institue for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. 2007.
- Clin Epidemiol 1991;44:1197-206. Coates RJ, Uhler RJ, Hall HI, et al. Risk of breast cancer in young women in relation to body size and weight gain in adolescence and early adulthood. Br J Cancer 1999;81:167-74
- Augustin LS, Gallus S, Bosetti C, et al. Glycemic index and glycemic load in endometrial cancer. Int J Cancer 2003;105:404-7