Breastfeeding can quite lower risk of cancer, shows study

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Sydney, May 31 (IANS) Women who breastfeed their children have been found to be at substantially lesser risk of developing uterine cancer, Australian researchers here said on Wednesday.

According to researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute here, women who breastfed at least one child have a lower risk of contracting cancer of the uterus.

The head of the Cancer Causes and Care research group at QIMR Berghofer, Susan Jordan told Xinhua: “We found that the longer women breast-fed each child, the more their risk of uterine cancer reduced, up until nine months when the reduction in risk plateaued.”

For the research the QIMR Berghofer team analysed data collected from over 26,000 Australian women, with over 9,000 of those having uterine cancer.

“We looked at the total amount of time these women had spent breastfeeding over the course of their lives,” Jordan said.

“We found that women who had ever breastfed had an 11 per cent lower risk of developing uterine cancer than women who had never breastfed.”

Within the results was also an interesting correlation between the duration of the breastfeeding and subsequent lowering of the likelihood of contracting uterine cancer.

Women who breastfed for three to six months have a seven per cent less risk of the cancer, while women who breastfed for six to nine months have 11 per cent lower risk.

“In other words, a woman who breastfed two children for nine months each had around a 22 per cent lower risk of uterine cancer than a woman who had never breastfed her children,” Jordan said.

However, not every woman is able to breastfeed, and Jordan said there are other things that women can do to lower the risk of endometrial, or uterine cancer.

“Having a baby reduces your risk, similarly taking the oral contraceptive pill can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer; but probably the best thing to do is make sure you have a healthy lifestyle,” Jordan said.

“Eat well, avoid putting on weight, and exercise regularly, these are all key things to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.”

–IANS

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