A new study further proves that women who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, and lessens its chances of recurring compared to those that don't. “We found in this study of over 1,600 women with breast cancer that those who previously breastfed had a 30 percent overall decreased risk of their breast cancer recurring,” said lead researcher Marilyn Kwan, research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente division of research in the U.S. “We also found those who previously breastfed had a 28 percent reduced risk of dying from their breast cancer,” she added. The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from 1,636 women with breast cancer who they asked to complete a questionnaire. Data showed that the women who breastfed for six months or longer were the least likely to see breast cancer recurrence. Breastfeeding was also found to be most effective at lowering the risk of estrogen receptor-positive, the most common type of breast cancer. This was not true, however, for the rare forms. Although the study did not include a cause-and-effect link between breastfeeding and breast cancer, Kwan and other experts have speculated that it could be because of the lessening of hormones –- that can help some cancers grow –- brought about by breastfeeding. “Overall, our study confirms that breastfeeding is not only good for the baby, but has potential health benefits for the mom,” said Kwan.
Sources: April 28, 2015. "Breastfeeding May Lower Breast Cancer Recurrence". webmd.com April 28, 2015. "Why breastfeeding could reduce a woman's chance of breast cancer: Scientists believe protective effect is caused by a reduction in oestrogen levels". dailymail.co.uk