Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: What You Should Know

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breastfeeding and breast cancerMy mom is a breast cancer survivor so I'm of the mind-set that it's not a matter of if, but when, I'll be diagnosed with the disease. Although, I just heard some pretty encouraging news. We all know that breastfeeding is good for our babies and good for our hearts. You might also know that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, and low blood pressure. Now new research shows something about breastfeeding and breast cancer that has even the researchers amazed.

 A new report shows that breastfeeding is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer among women who are at particularly high risk: those who have a history of breast cancer in their family.

Specifically, the report found that among women with an immediate relative (a mother or a sister) who had breast cancer, those who breast-fed had a 59 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

"I was sort of stunned," said Dr. Alison M. Stuebe, one of the researchers on the study who is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina. 

Dr. Stuebe even suggested that breastfeeding might prove to be just as effective a strategy for women at a high risk of breast cancer as Tamoxifen (a drug that is often used to reduce a woman's breast cancer risk).

Has anyone in your immediate family had breast cancer? Do you breastfeed?

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