Study shows breastfeeding can reduce risk of breast cancer in women with BRCA1 gene
Mar 19, 2012
A new study found that women who have the BRCA1 gene, which is known to increase the risk of developing breast cancer, were 32 percent less likely to be diagnosed with the disease if they breastfed for at least a year, according to The Telegraph.
The researchers from the Women's Research Institute in Ontario also found that it reduces the risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percent in the general public.
"These findings corroborate a protective role of breastfeeding on breast cancer risk for BRCA1," wrote co-author Dr. Steven Narod in the journal BioMed Central, the media outlet reports. "The lack of an association for BRCA2 mutation carriers suggests that the biological pathway for carcinogenesis is different for the two genes. Women with a BRCA mutation should be advised of the benefit of breastfeeding in terms of reducing breast cancer risk."
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. It is recommended that once a woman turns 40, she schedules annual mammograms to ensure the doctors the detect the disease as early as possible.