Will breastfeeding lower my risk of breast cancer?

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago. No trace of it in the family past at all on eihter side of my family. No signs that I can tell that I have it. By means of I can't feel any lumps, neither can the doctor. Do I need to worry about breast feeding my baby?

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mgurl

Asked by mgurl at 4:57 PM on Oct. 6, 2008 in Health

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This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (13)
  • absolutely not! there is actually evidence that breastfeeding your baby significantly reduces the risk that you will develop breast cancer as well as breastfeeding for any amount of time reduces your baby's risk of later developing breast cancer.

    here's an article:
    http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20080825/breastfeeding-vs-breast-cancer-risk?src=RSS_PUBLIC

    sunnykate

    Answer by sunnykate at 5:18 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • I wouldn't. If there's the possibility but there's not anything stating that you have breast cancer, then don't let it inhibit you if you want to breastfeed. But do what you want.
    rlemde

    Answer by rlemde at 5:19 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • Definitely breastfeed. Breastfeeding will actually reduce your risk for breast cancer. It's one of the many reasons why I chose to breastfeed. My grandmother died from breast cancer and my aunt is a breast cancer survivor.
    MamaCeleste0722

    Answer by MamaCeleste0722 at 6:40 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • Definitely breastfeed! It will help lower your chances significantly of you getting cancer yourself.
    mamajody0507

    Answer by mamajody0507 at 9:29 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • Nursing for longer than a year is one of the best ways to lower your risk of someday developing breast cancer. I think it's super important that you nurse!
    Banani263

    Answer by Banani263 at 9:34 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • You should absolutely BF. BF made the list of top 10 things that reduce your risk of breast cancer and othe female cancers for that matter.
    miasmommy21407

    Answer by miasmommy21407 at 10:11 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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  • There is also evidence that the longer you breastfeed, the risk decreases!

    "Although there are a few studies that report a decrease in the risk of breast cancer after only three or more months of breast-feeding, the evidence for risk reduction becomes more consistent the longer women breast-feed."

    http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/FactSheet/Diet/fs29.brfeed.cfm
    MissesGoR

    Answer by MissesGoR at 1:01 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

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  • Absolutely not! In fact, if you breastfeed you can decrease YOUR risk of coming down with breast cancer.

    Women who have previously had breast cancer and who have successfully beat it and gone on to become mothers actually have their doctors demand that they breastfeed because it lowers the risk of re occurrence.

    The hormonal surge when you become pregnant and give birth and then DO NOT breastfeed increases your risk of breast cancer over "never having children at all". But if you become pregnant, give birth AND breastfeed it decreases your risks overall.

    Gruntlings

    Answer by Gruntlings at 7:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

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  • BTW, the risk goes like this:

    Mothers who chose not to breastfeed (most risk)
    Women who have never had children or breastfed (medium risk)
    Women who have had children and who have breastfed (lower risk)
    Women who have had children and have breastfed for 1-2 years (lowest risk)

    Breastfeeding longer than 13 months also decreases your risk of certain autoimmune diseases..

    The health benefits to mom are numerous. As for your child... Breastfeeding your child lowers your child's risk of a variety of childhood cancers, halves the risk of SIDS, lowers the risk of childhood obesity, diabetes and a lot of other things. It helps bolster your child's immune system so that routine childhood illnesses such as the flu or RSV are less likely to land your child in the emergency room. It is also associated with activating a gene that leads to a 5 point IQ boost. Isn't that amazing? :)
    Gruntlings

    Answer by Gruntlings at 7:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

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  • Oh, even if you do have cancerous cells in your breasts, your baby will not come down with cancer as a result of breastfeeding.

    Breastmilk is actually used in anti-cancer therapy. When cancer cells are exposed to breastmilk the breastmilk kills them. There are currently trials being run with adult cancer patients drinking human milk from milk donors, and successfully beating cancer.

    So if there are cancer cells in your breasts, the likelihood of them surviving in your breast milk is very slim.
    Gruntlings

    Answer by Gruntlings at 7:37 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

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