new research claiming that breastfeeding may prevent breast cancer. Take a look:
[Breastfeeding] helps reduce the breast cancer risk for women who wait until after 25 to have children, as previous research has found that these women are more prone to the disease. In fact, after analyzing data on a number of women aged 55 and older, doctors found that breastfeeding help ward off breast cancer regardless of what age the women started giving birth.Dr. Fuhrman would agree. In Disease-Proof Your Child he echoes similar sentiments. Check it out:
Seeing as the average age for starting a family is 25, and current trends indicate the majority of women are waiting until they're older to have kids, this information seems particularly relevant.
Nursing helps protect against breast cancer. During lactation, the secretion of estrogens in a woman’s body falls to virtually nil, and continuing to breast-feed for a prolonged period has a significant effect on resetting her estrogen to a lower level thereafter.1 Maximum protection is achieved after breast-feeding for approximately two years, which corresponds with the baby’s immunologic development, maximizing protection against disease for the baby as well. So breast-feeding plays a role in protecting both the baby the mother from developing cancer.I’m not sure you can say it any better than that.
The American Cancer Society reports that reports that approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the United Stats in 2002 and about 40,000 breast cancer deaths occurred.2 Despite extensive research and the establishment of breast cancer screening programs, these statistics have changed little in the past four decades. We must attack this disease at its roots and stop so much unnecessary suffering and death.
1. Janssens J. How nutrition during the first few decades of life affects breast cancer risk implications for research and dietary guidelines for children. Nutrition Today Sept 1999.
2. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2002. Available at http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CancerFacts&Figures2002TM.pdf.