Study: Breastfeeding May Delay Onset of Breast Cancer

A new but small study on breastfeeding and breast cancer adds to the evidence showing its protective effects for moms, with this study suggesting that breastfeeding may delay the onset of breast cancer for nonsmoking moms who breastfeed for at least six months.bigstock-Mother-breastfeeding-the-littl-18348869

The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Nursing this week.

AICR’s continuous updates, which examine the global literature, found that breastfeeding directly reduces a mother’s risk of breast cancer; breastfeeding also may indirectly reduce the baby’s risk for cancer in later life, as it may play a role in being a healthy weight.

In this study, about 500 Spanish breast cancer survivors answered questions about breastfeeding, along with their family history, diet, and smoking habits. The women ranged in ages from 19 to 91; they had all been diagnosed and treated for their cancer from 2004 to 2009.

Regardless of family history, the nonsmoking women who breastfed their babies for over six months were diagnosed with breast cancer a decade later than the other women. Continue reading


Breastfeeding Grades Improving: Helping Health and Cancer Risk

bigstock-Mother-breastfeeding-the-littl-18348869More than three out of four babies born in the U.S. in 2010 breastfed for any length of time, according to the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says America’s breastfeeding grades are improving with the highest rates since they began measuring in 2001.

And that’s good news because breastfeeding offers many health benefits for babies and moms, including decreased risk for moms for both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer, and lower risk for obesity for baby. One of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention is that mothers breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months.

From my work in breastfeeding education and promotion even just 15 years ago, I know the struggles breastfeeding advocates face in encouraging moms and dads to try breastfeeding and in making hospitals and other institutions supportive of breastfeeding. So I am pleased to see more families choose to try for at least some length of time. Continue reading


Study: Following AICR Recommendations Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

Post-menopausal women who follow at least five of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention may cut their risk of developing breast cancer in half compared to those who meet none, suggests a new study that adds to previoiStock_000016308603_ExtraSmallus research showing how each recommendation met decreases a women’s risk.

The three recommendations that most helped women reduce their risk of breast cancer in this study related to eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; being a healthy weight; and drinking one or fewer glasses of wine a day.

The study was published early in the online edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. It was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

For the study, researchers pulled data from approximately 31,000 participants of the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study. The women were ages 50 to 76 at the start and had no history of breast cancer. When the study began, the women filled out questionnaires on their eating habits, weight, activity, medicines they take and other factors that may play a role in breast cancer risk. Continue reading