Friday, 4 February 2011

Breastfeeding and the C word

There was a worrying press article today about the rise in cases of breast cancer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12356489

The phrase 'breast cancer' is enough to send any woman into a freefall of anxiety whether or not she has risk factors for the disease. The risk factors are...

*smoking
*oral contraceptives
*drinking alcohol every day
*obesity
*family history

Of course the indiscriminate nature of cancer means that women with no apparent risk factors may develop it and a boatload of risk factors might never. The report says a startling 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. That seems high to me.

The question I immediately asked of Google was how can I protect myself? What preventative measures can I take if any?

One was thankfully in my doorstep. Breastfeeding can actually reduce the chance of breast cancer by up to 50%, which is almost unbelievable. You do need to breastfeed for 2 years to get the full 50%. Check out this site for the stats if you like. http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_about/all_about_breast_cancer.html

The article goes on to say that the evidence shows that even breastfeeding for 2 days can have a significant impact on a persons risk of breast cancer.

The risk of ovarian cancer is also reduced by breastfeeding. Clever stuff huh?

Reading those articles this evening got me thinking. If more women were aware of these specific benefits, would more women try to breastfeed? Would they carry on longer? Or even initiate it. Knowing that breastfeeding is protective, wouldn't it be worth the extra effort?

I read somewhere recently that an estimated 3 in 4 women in the UK are UNAWARE of this information. That is massive. Considering the potential for protection, if all women knew this, would there be less incidences of breast cancer?

For an excellent webpage about reasons why women might find it in their best interests to give it a go, visit here.
http://www.notmilk.com/101.html

I'm not formula bashing here or anything like that, but in order to make informed choices we need to know what the possible consequences are. Sugar coating and avoiding the issue doesn't help, nor ignoring the situation. Read up, get educated and protect yourself the beat you can.
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2 comments:

  1. Hi, I am a new follower…I found you through SocialMoms.com, if you get a chance I would love to have you check out my blog. Thank you.
    ~KerrieLynn
    KLsCupboard.blogspot

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful post! I've been breastfeeding my ladies almost nonstop for 3 Year's. Looks like it benefits me as much as them :)

    ReplyDelete

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