Breast-Feeding and Breast Cancer Risks Greenville NC

Women who breast-feed their babies even for short periods of time may lower their risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer if they have a family history of the disease in Greenville. We saw a 59 percent lower risk of breast cancer among women with a family history who had ever breast-fed," stated Dr. Alison Stuebe, lead author of a study appearing in the Aug. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. "It is surprising to see this really strong association with a pretty decreased risk."

G Howard Satterfield Jr, MD
(252) 756-8836
PO Box 30946
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1957

Data Provided by:
James Anthony Bofill, MD
(601) 984-5327
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternal & Fetal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Tn, Memphis, Coll Of Med, Memphis Tn 38163
Graduation Year: 1986
Hospital
Hospital: Memorial Hospital At Gulfport, Gulfport, Ms
Group Practice: University Ob/Gyn Associates Pllc

Data Provided by:
Gwendolyn Knuckles, MD
(252) 830-1035
216 Kineton Cir
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Tulane Univ Sch Of Med, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Reuben Anderson Clay, MD
111 Breezewood Dr Apt F
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Rochester Sch Of Med & Dentistry, Rochester Ny 14642
Graduation Year: 1964

Data Provided by:
D E Darnell Jones, MD
(252) 816-5695
600 Moye Blvd Dept Obg
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Todd Michael Beste, MD
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Mn Med Sch-Minneapolis, Minneapolis Mn 55455
Graduation Year: 1995

Data Provided by:
G Howard Satterfield, MD
(252) 756-8836
PO Box 30946
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1957

Data Provided by:
Christy Michelle Isler, MD
(252) 816-2344
600 Moye Boulevard Brody Outpatient Center
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternal & Fetal Medicine
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Louisville Sch Of Med, Louisville Ky 40202
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided by:
Edward Robson Newton, MD
(252) 744-5695
Department Ob/gyn R
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maternal & Fetal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Loyola Univ Of Chicago Stritch Sch Of Med, Maywood Il 60153
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville, Nc
Group Practice: Ecu Physicians Brody School Of Medicine

Data Provided by:
Joseph Louis Murad, MD
(252) 758-4855
1730 W 5th St
Greenville, NC
Specialties
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Nc At Chapel Hill Sch Of Med, Chapel Hill Nc 27599
Graduation Year: 1957

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Breast-Feeding and Breast Cancer Risks

Provided By:

Women who breast-feed their babies even for short periods of time may lower their risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer if they have a family history of the disease.

"We saw a 59 percent lower risk of breast cancer among women with a family history who had ever breast-fed," stated Dr. Alison Stuebe, lead author of a study appearing in the Aug. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. "It is surprising to see this really strong association with a pretty decreased risk."

Stuebe is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, but she conducted the study while affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The risk reduction was seen in women who had breast-fed for as short a period as three months.

Numerous other benefits of breast-feeding have been found, not just for babies but for mothers as well.

A study released in April, for instance, found that women in their 60s who had breast-fed for more than 12 months over their lives were nearly 10 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and significantly less likely to develop heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Previous research on the connection between breast cancer and breast-feeding has been limited, although other, less rigorous, studies have also suggested a decrease in risk.

This study looked at about 60,000 women who had given birth at least once and were participating in the Nurses' Health Study II.

The lowering in the risk of breast cancer was seen only in women who had breast-fed and who had a mother or sister who had had the malignancy. And it only applied to premenopausal breast cancer.

The lowering of risk was about the same as seen with hormonal treatments such as tamoxifen in women at high risk for a malignancy, the authors stated.

There was no reduced risk in women who did not have a family history of the disease. Nor was there any difference depending on how long the mother breast-fed or the intensity of breast-feeding (whether the baby was breast-fed exclusively or not).

The reduced risk did not seem to have any link with hormones, given that the risk did not differ with the amount of time a woman went without a period while breast-feeding.

The researchers postulated other hypotheses to explain the link.

"It may be something about the first couple of days postpartum if the woman doesn't breast-feed," Stuebe said. "The breast tissue has to shut down, and there's a lot of inflammation and discomfort. Perhaps on a molecular level there's going some kind of damage."

This theory is supported by the fact that women who used medication to stop lactating also had a lower risk.

"This data would suggest it's more of the effect of milk being taken out of the breast tissue after pregnancy that's beneficial," Stuebe said. "We know that just being pregnant reduces the risk of breast cancer compared with not having been pregnant. Getting milk out afterwards appears to be part of the phenomenon."

The real value of the study, added Dr. Richard Bleicher, co-director of the breast surgery fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, may be less in the clinical implications but in the fact that it helps point researchers towards avenues for understanding the mechanisms of breast cancer.

More information

The U.S. government's Women's Health Information site has more on breast-feeding.

Author: By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

SOURCES: Alison M. Stuebe, M.D., assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine; Richard J. Bleicher, M.D., co-director, breast surgery fellowship, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Aug. 10/24, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

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