Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Breastfeeding Benefit

There is good news for moms who choose breastfeeding. New research shows it lowers your risk of getting one of the most deadly forms of breast cancer!

Here's the story from ABC:

Most women know the established risk factors for breast cancer such as older age and a family history of the disease, but new research suggests that some less obvious risks are determined early, during a woman's youth and child-bearing years. Decisions a woman makes then - such as whether to breastfeed or not - may impact her breast cancer risk years in the future, including altering the odds of aggressive disease.

Why does one woman get an aggressive form of breast cancer while another's tumor is easily treated? Genetics certainly play a role, but new findings suggest factors in a woman's personal history help determine the TYPE of cancer she gets.

Doctors from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center compared 1100 women with different types of breast cancer to nearly 1500 healthy women. They found that women who breastfed their babies for at least 6 months had a 50 per cent lower risk for so-called triple negative tumors - among the most deadly form of the disease. They also enjoyed a 20 per cent reduction in a second, less aggressive type of breast cancer.

In contrast, women who began their periods at an early age had more than double the risk for tumors that respond to the drug Herceptin, whereas late onset of menopause was linked to a higher risk for estrogen-sensitive cancers. Researchers say understanding how a woman's reproductive history alters her risk for certain types of breast cancer should lead to improved screening, diagnosis and treatments.

Does cancer run in your family? Are you worried about you or your kids getting it?

UPDATE: UICOMP's Department of Surgery and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Peoria Affiliate, present a symposium to educate physicians and healthcare providers regarding breast cancer diagnosis and management. A special meet-and-greet social will be held on October 3, 2008, to celebrate the lives of those afflicted with breast cancer. Registration for both events is required by September 1, 2008.

Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. Friday Social Event: 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday Symposium: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. 309-655-2383.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Knight in Dragonland said...

Breastfeeding lowers the woman's risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. It also reduces her risk of osteoporosis.

Jennifer said...

I wonder what is considered "a young age?" for starting one's period? My daughter started at twelve, and that seemed about average, but I really don't know.
And, yes, I do worry about my kids and cancer, particularly about skin cancer because, as they've gotten older, the sun screen use has gone down. (I'm not always there to regulate it, like I was when they were younger).

Maria said...

I worry about cancer, but I don't fret about it every second of the day. Also, I find it is hard to balance needs (i.e. sunlight for vitamin D) with the "proper" application of sunscreen. I try to have him play outdoors without sunscreen earlier in the day, and use sunscreen during peak sun hours, but I still wonder if I am getting it right. Then again, does anyone really "get it right?" Define "right." Right? Anyway...

20 months and counting on the nursing though. :) said...

I don't know the answer to what is considered a young age to start your period. Knight would know. I will send him an email.

Knight in Dragonland said...

The average age for a girl to start having periods (menarche) is around 12 1/2 years. The typical range is between 11 & 14, but I've seen normal menarche as young as 9.

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