Women who have recovered from childhood cancer are advised to breastfeed their children, as doing so could counteract side effects of cancer treatment they’ve received, such as obesity and weak bones.
This is the suggestion of Susan Ogg and her colleagues from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Around one in every 640 20-39-year-olds suffer from and survive childhood cancer. Some of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments are fertility problems and cancer reoccurrence.
The study of Ogg and her colleagues, published in Springer’s Journal of Cancer Survivorship, show that women who have survived from childhood cancer are fully capable of breastfeeding, but should eat lots of fruits and vegetables, refrain from smoking, use SPF, use protection when having sexual intercourse, exercise regularly to protect themselves from the potential side effects of cancer treatment.
Cancer treatment most often involves toxic chemotherapy, radiation which increases the risk for breast cancer to as much as 25 percent among female cancer survivors. The study shows, though, that new moms who are cancer survivors had lowered risk for breast cancer, at 11 to 25 percent, with breastfeeding.
Lactation helps trigger changes in the breast and in the woman’s hormones, which can all help battle the formation of breast tumors.
The most common forms of childhood cancer, according to the Irish Cancer Society, are leukemia, brain tumors and sarcomas.
SOURCES: • VR Sreeraman. January 21, 2011. “Childhood Cancer Survivors May Benefit From Breastfeeding” Medindia.net • “Breastfeeding ‘benefits cancer survivors’” AvivaHealth.ie • Alice Park. January 21, 2011. “For Childhood Cancer Survivors, the Many Benefits of Breast-feeding” Healthland.Time.com
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