It has been proved again that breastfeeding is linked to lower risk of breast cancer. In other words more breast feeding was found to be better than less breast feeding in providing breast cancer protection.
A new study which was conducted under the aegis of researchers at Kaiser Permanente suggests that breastfeeding can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer recurring.
The latest study reveals that breast cancer survivors face lesser risk of recurrence of the disease if they breast feed one or more of their children.
The study involved 1,636 breast cancer patients who were monitored and followed. It was found that breastfeeding offered extra protection from breast cancer tumors of specific genetic subtypes.
Lead study author Marilyn L. Kwan, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, said in a press release, “This is the first study we’re aware of that examined the role of breastfeeding history in cancer recurrence, and by tumor subtype.”
The study involved the participants to fill out questionnaires related to their health and breastfeeding history. The health outcomes were then plotted and the answers were compared.
It was revealed that women who breastfed their kids were more likely to survive an incidence of breast cancer and were also less likely to suffer a relapse. Most of the benefits were accrued by women due to the fact that they are most likely to develop Luminal A tumors, which include some of the most common types of breast cancer tumors. Luminal A tumors are less aggressive and respond positively to hormonal therapy.
However researchers are not convinced that breastfeeding is correlated with the more treatable Luminal A tumors.
Study co-author Bette J. Caan, a senior research scientist with the Division of Research says, “Breastfeeding may increase the maturation of ductal cells in the breast, making them less susceptible to carcinogens or facilitate the excretion of carcinogens, and lead to slower-growing tumors.”
Breastfeeding has been hailed for its benefits for the health of the child which ranges from better immunity to protection from water borne diseases.
“In fact, the protection was even stronger for women who had a history of breastfeeding for six months or more,” Kwan added.
The new research was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.