Mother's milk is well known as the wonder meal for a new-born. Breast milk contains all the nutrients required by the baby's body to develop. Although childbearing is known to protect against breast cancer, whether or not breastfeeding contributes to this protective effect is unclear.
Breastfeeding has often been included in the protective behaviours against breast cancer, but the research has been inconsistent. Looking at the research on breastfeeding and breast cancer risk, it is clear that this has been a difficult area to study. If breastfeeding does lower risk, the level of protection is small and depends on women breastfeeding for a long time. (Debbie Saslow 2013)
The major study that supports breastfeeding as protective against breast cancer was published in 2002. The researchers analyzed 47 studies in 30 countries; these studies had information about 50,000 women with invasive breast cancers and 97,000 women without breast cancer. The study authors found that the rate of breast cancer diagnoses was slightly lower among women who had breastfed and among women who had breastfed for longer periods of time. (Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer 2002)
For every 12 months of breastfeeding the risk of breast cancer decreased by 4.3%, compared to women who did not breastfeed. Risk decreased by 3.4% for each child breastfed, compared to women who did not breastfeed.
Cite this article:
Sampoornam. W. Breastfeeding Cuts Breast Cancer Risk. Int. J. Adv. Nur. Management 2(3): July-Sept.,2014; Page 183-184.