Breastfeeding is known to offer numerous health benefits for the baby, but many women do not realize that it can also benefit them. A new study shows that breastfeeding can actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. This is just one more reason to consider breastfeeding, regardless of how you feel about it. Here are some of the things that women with a family history of breast cancer should know.
Breastfeeding Can Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
Breastfeeding can lower a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. A study which followed women with and without a family history of breast cancer found that there is a link between breast cancer prevention and breastfeeding. The results of this study showed that breastfeeding could reduce the risk of premenopausal breast cancer by up to 59 percent, according to WebMD.
The highest instances of breast cancer reduction rates were seen among women who had a family history. According to WebMD, the instance of cancer for all women who breastfed in the study was 25 percent and 59 percent for women who had a family history of breast cancer. Researchers believe that the results did not show high instance of breast cancer prevention among women who did not have a family history because the instances in these women are lower. It is harder to find a control group of women without a family history who will become diagnosed with breast cancer.
Why Does Breastfeeding Reduce Breast Cancer Risk?
It is currently unknown why breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Though some research has been done on this issue in the past, this seems to be the first time that the findings were significant. Many medical experts believe that more research needs to be done to determine the link between breastfeeding and cancer, but it is important to note that the results in this study are huge.
Whether you are at risk for breast cancer or not, it can be ideal to consider breastfeeding. Not only may you reduce the risk of this potentially fatal disease, but you will also ensure that your baby is getting essential nutrients and antibodies. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of many illnesses, ranging from childhood diabetes to heart disease in adults. Remember that there are certain instances in which breastfeeding should be avoided, however. If you are infected with HIV or tuberculosis, for example, you should not consider breastfeeding because these diseases can be passed to your newborn.
WebMD, “Breastfeeding May Cut Breast Cancer Risk.”