To help mark World Breastfeeding Week, a recent review released by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) reveals the newest research on breast cancer diving into the idea that breastfeeding can decrease the chances for women to develop this condition.
Medical News Today advised that the report provides potential reasons why breastfeeding reduces the risk, citing one factor around lactation delaying menstruation after women have babies. This decrease lifetime hormone exposure around estrogen, which has been connected to increasing the chances of developing breast cancer. One other factor is that post-lactation, a female’s breast releases a significant amount of tissue, which could also shed damaged DNA cells, these of which increase the chances of cancer.
The report also reveals that lactation can alter the genes’ appearance in breast cells, which creates a long impact when it relates to cancer development risks.
The recent report analyzed 18 studies on breastfeeding and lactation. Of those, 13 reviewed breastfeeding durations and their effects, revealing that for every five months a mother breastfeeds, there is a two percent decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
The WCRF and AICR report also suggests that lifestyle is a factor, with excess body fat and overweight issues increasing the risks around breast cancer post-menopause. Alternatively, excess body fat can decrease breast cancer chances prior to menopause. The report also revealed that increased alcohol consumption can heighten the risk for breast cancer, pre-and post-menopause, while routine (moderate or high-level) exercise can reduce the risks around this illness.
Additionally, the review stated that babies who are breast-fed decrease their chances of gaining too much weight as they develop, giving infants a solid start; as obesity and overweight issues place adults at health risks and are becoming an increasing challenge within the United States.
Researchers of the report noted that there is hope that future evidence will reveal more information about cancer subtypes, how they come to be and how they are linked to risk factors.