Does Breastfeeding Lower The Risks Of Breast Cancer?
You probably know that breastfeeding can give a healthy start to your baby. But that’s not the only benefit of breastfeeding. It can also be helpful for mothers as it lowers the risk of breast cancer.
Research suggests that breastfeeding women are less likely to develop pre and post-menopausal breast cancer symptoms. And breastfeeding longer than six months can have additional benefits.
This shows that breastfeeding and breast cancer are interlinked. It is believed that most women ignore their breast health, which results in breast cancer, due to which the number of breast cancer cases is rising worldwide.
These are important facts about breastfeeding and breast cancer and how it supports better health.
Facts about breastfeeding and breast cancer
Here is everything a woman should know about breastfeeding and breast cancer.
Breastfeeding for more than six months is beneficial
According to the World Health Organization and American Institute for Cancer Research, a woman should breastfeed for at least six months to get the maximum health perks. Breastfeeding provides all the energy and required nutrients to the baby during development and helps them to stay healthy.
The research found that breastfeeding is beneficial for a child’s health and more protective against breast cancer, which can develop during the time of pregnancy or later. Breastfeeding that last for 12 months can lower the risk of developing breast cancer by 4.3% compared to mothers who do not.
Now you have an idea about how much breastfeeding reduces the risks of breast cancer. Let’s find out more facts about breastfeeding and breast cancer.
Breastfeed protects children from cancer
Breastfeeding reduces not only your chances of cancer but also your child. That means it is beneficial for both mother and child. Studies show that breastfeeding prevents the child from being overweight, that later reduces the risk of many cancers such as pancreatic, post-menopausal breast, endometrial, oesophagal, rectal, and kidney cancers.
Breast cancer can develop at the time of breastfeeding
Breast cancer can develop at any time in a woman’s life, including while breastfeeding or pumping. Since women are more prone to breast changes during breastfeeding, they may have potential warning signs of cancer. The nursing mothers will feel lumps in their breasts due to milk production, which can block milk ducts. If these lumps do not get smaller or disappear after a week, a mother should consult a doctor.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for women
Besides preventing cancer, it may help women in the following ways:
- Promotes weight loss after birth
- Burn extra calories
- Reduce UTI chances
- Fewer chances of anaemia
- Reduce the risks of depression
- Boost positive mood
Breastfeed babies are healthier
Breastfeeding is healthy for mother and baby both. Breastfeed babies are healthier in terms of:
- Reduce the risk of cavities
- Less likely to develop obesity
- Boost immunity
- Improve brain maturation
- Lower the risks of Type I and II diabetes
- Fewer chances of allergies, enzymes and asthma
- Reduce the rate of respiratory illness
How to detect breast cancer while breastfeeding?
Women can feel the lumps at the time of breastfeeding. Generally, these lumps disappear after some time and may become cancer if they do not disappear on time due to:
Mastitis is a breast tissue infection caused by bacteria that blocks the milk duct. A woman may have symptoms like swelling and pain in the breast, fever, skin redness, and skin warmth.
Fibroadenomas are lumps that may feel like marble when you touch them and move under the skin.
These are harmless and painless milk-filled cysts that feel smooth and move within the breast.
Early symptoms of breast cancer
Lumps are the potential sign of breast cancer, but there are other breast cancer symptoms that may include:
- Nipple discharge
- Continuous breast pain
- Change the shape and size of the breast
- Redness or darkness in breast
- Itchiness or rashes on or around the nipples
- Swelling or warmth of the breast
When to see a doctor?
It is essential to have regular checkups because breast cancer can develop at any time. But if you are breastfeeding, you should see a doctor if you feel lumps in your breast and they
- Do not go away
- Keep growing
- Don’t move
- Come back in the same place even after the treatment
- They are firm or hard
- Cause dimpling on the skin
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
If your physician suspects breast cancer, they will perform specific tests to ensure it is cancer. A mammogram or ultrasound are two tests that can provide images of lumps that the doctor will determine as breast cancer.
You may be advised to stop breastfeeding before having a diagnostic test. Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding, breast cancer, and aspects of these situations. They will suggest you better.
Women need extra care and attention as they face more hormonal changes than men. Exceptional cases like pregnancy and breastfeeding are critical times for them when they should focus on their health more than usual.