A recent study indicates that women who breastfeed their babies, and develop breast cancer later in life, are more likely to see that cancer go into remission with no recurrence.

Published Study of Breastfeed

The study that enlightens us with this new information was published in the April issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The study group

Sixteen hundred women who had breast cancer were used as the study group.

The results

Of the sixteen hundred women with breast cancer in the study group the moms who had breast fed their infants were thirty percent less likely to have their cancer recur.

The study also showed that women who breast fed their babies were twenty eight percent less likely to die from the cancer.

Before this study was completed researchers had already proven that breast feeding would help to prevent the development of breast cancer. After the study, we now know that even if a woman that breast fed her children develops breast, she is more likely to survive the disease, and is less likely to have the disease reoccur.

Length of breast feeding time

The amount of time that a woman breast fed did make a difference in her cancer risk outcomes. Women who breast fed their children for six or more months stood higher chances of not getting cancer, and lower chances of cancer returning once they went into remission.

Possible reasons for the benefits

The biggest possible reason for this benefit is that when women breast feed their children they reduce the number of menstrual cycles they have in their lifetime. Fewer menstrual cycles means fewer hormones and that means a reduced chance for breast cancer.

It is also believed that when a woman breast feeds her babies, her ductal cells in her breast are matured. The more mature ductal cells are thought to be more resilient to the invading cancer cells.

Many doctors believe that the female breast does not reach full development until it has lactated for a period of six months or more.

What this information should be telling us

This information sheds the light on the fact that women who breast feed their children have a ten percent less chance of ever developing breast cancer. Women who develop breast cancer after breast feeding their children will develop less aggressive forms of the disease, and will more than likely be cured of the disease without having it return at a later date.

What this means for the future

Armed with this information medical professionals can help women to understand that when they choose to breast feed their children they are choosing to do something that has benefits for the child and for them.

If more women were to start breast feeding for a period of six months or more than we could reduce certain cancer numbers by as much as forty to fifty percent. The number of deaths from certain forms of breast cancer could be reduced by as much as twenty eight to thirty percent.