Breastfeeding, breast cancer, and family history
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
A woman whose mother or sister had breast cancer has a higher risk of having breast cancer herself. And although a woman can’t control genetics, she can do some things. One study indicates breastfeeding is among them.
Alison Stuebe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill looked at data on about 60,000 women between 1997 and 2005 while she was at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston:
[Alison Stuebe speaks] "Among women with a family history of breast cancer, those who had breastfed their children had a 59 percent lower risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer."
Steube says breastfeeding is good for mother and child, and her research suggests another reason why.
The study in Archives of Internal Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011