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Thread: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    I was talking to my sister in law yesterday. She and I had our babies less than a week apart. We are both breastfeeding; she pumps exclusively and I breastfeed exclusively. We were talking about family history on both sides and commented how closely cancer has hit both sides of our families. My grandmother died from BC and My sister in law lost her mother and grandmother to BC. Very scary to think about...Anyway, I mentioned that BF/cancer studies show that there is a decrease in cancer numbers among bf mothers. Does anyone here know exactly why that is? I'm very curious. Also, would it matter if the mother pumped? Does that make any difference?

    Sorry...I wasn't sure where this thread should go, so I posted here...


    New Mommy to Michael 4-5-08
    and and new to the world of

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,955

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    As far as I know, the thinking is that the reason women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer is that breastfeeding (or pumping, for that matter) inhibits menstruation, and therefore lessens your exposure to estrogen, which can cause certain types of breast tumors to grow.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    yeah I poked around a little bit last night but I didn't have much time.
    You could talk to your local leader she could get some more medical info for you.

    When my mom had kideny cancer they told her your kids should get tested 10 years before you had your cancer. I had never heard anything like that before.
    She had no symtoms but it was found in a blood test of kideny funtion, that the doctor just ran on a fluke. She also had unrealted cancer in her ovary that was found when she was having scans done on her kideny.
    they both had not had time to spread! And she is cancer free at this point 4 years..
    So get your testing done!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    547

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    Yeah, I heard the same thing as pp- it has to do with the lack of menstruation and the resulting change in hormones. Many many years ago, women started menstruation later in life (less hormones in the food etc.), had more pregnancies (no medicated birth control), and breast fed longer, so they had far fewer menstrual periods and fewer occurances of breast cancer especially in younger women. The chances of breast cancer when you get much older (70's & 80's) is much higher, my grandmother had breast cancer at 82 and I believe they said the odds at that age were like 1 in 6. I think that's a hormone thing too, but I don't remember the details.
    since 10/10/07
    and still going...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    From kellymom's page on the benefits of extended bfing:

    * Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
    Click on the "References" link for a list of studies and still more links.

    ETA: If you and your SIL have a strong family histories of breast cancer, each of you might consider being tested for a gene mutation.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    3,319

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*andreafromohio View Post
    yeah I poked around a little bit last night but I didn't have much time.
    You could talk to your local leader she could get some more medical info for you.

    When my mom had kideny cancer they told her your kids should get tested 10 years before you had your cancer. I had never heard anything like that before.
    She had no symtoms but it was found in a blood test of kideny funtion, that the doctor just ran on a fluke. She also had unrealted cancer in her ovary that was found when she was having scans done on her kideny.
    they both had not had time to spread! And she is cancer free at this point 4 years..
    So get your testing done!
    It's not breast cancer, but Andrea is right--I had colon cancer when I was 29, and Thomas will have to start colonoscopies, etc. when he's 19.
    Andrea, I'm so glad your mom is ok!

    And absolutely get testing done, and don't let anyone tell you you're "too young" --BTDT, and there's no such thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    My maternal grandmother died when she was 40 of breast cancer. I sure do hope that pumping reduces my risk. I'm very scared of breast cancer.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Studies

    My mother died of breast cancer at age 35. It is scary but I can't live my life in fear, you know? Also, there are a lot better treatments now than there were when she died.
    But I'll hedge my bets and breastfeed my babies for a good long time.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

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