Women with breast cancer who breastfeed 30% less likely to have the cancer recur and 28% less likely to die from it. This is the finding from a new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that looked at 1,636 women with breast cancer.
Previous research has found that breast-feeding is linked with a lower risk of developing breast cancer in the first place, the researchers said. Marilyn Kwan, the head researcher stated: “If a woman breastfeeds, she reduces her risk of developing breast cancer by about 5% to 10%:. The protective aspects of breastfeeding were especially noticeable for women who breastfed their baby for more than 6 months.
“Overall, our study confirms that breast-feeding is not only good for the baby, but has potential health benefits for the mom,” Kwan said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breast-feeding for about six months, followed by continued breast-feeding as foods are introduced, for up to a year or longer. Breast-feeding helps protect babies from diseases such as diabetes, from infection and from becoming overweight. Mothers who breast-feed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers, according to the AAP.