New research shows that women who breast-feed their babies and later develop breast cancer are less likely to have the cancer return or to die from it than women who do not breast-feed.
The study analyzed over 1,600 women with breast cancer. Women who breast fed had a 30% overall decreased risk of their breast cancer recurring. In addition women who breast fed had a 28% reduced risk of dying from their breast cancer.
The study was published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on April 28th.
The team also found that breast-feeding’s protective effect of lowering the changes of recurrence or death was strongest against the most commonly diagnosed breast cancers.
The study builds on previous evidence about the link between breast-feeing and breast cancer.
Previous research and studies have found that breast-feeding is linked with a lower risk of developing breast cancer by 5 to 10%.
This new study had also added to detailed findings about tumor types.
The study looked at two groups of women, a group diagnosed from 1997 to 2000 and another group diagnosed from 200-2013. A majority of the patients were patients at Kaiser Permanente, a large health maintenance organization.
The association between breast-feeding and a more favorable outcome for breast cancer patients,
However the study did not prove cause-and-effect.
The link is statistically significant with breast cancers known as luminal A subtypes, including tumors known as estrogen receptor-positive, the most common of all breast cancers. Unfortunately, researchers did not find the link to be statistically strong for other subtypes of breast cancer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for about six months, followed by continued breast feeding as foods are introduce for up to a year or longer.