Breastfeeding Makes Top Ten List of Cancer Preventers
Breastfeeding has been named as one of the Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) following analysis of a major new study.
The five-year study, released on October 31st found a strong correlation between breastfeeding and the prevention of both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal breast cancer.
According to the study, breastfeeding lowers a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer throughout her lifetime. Equally important, the evidence shows that infants who are breastfed are likely to have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese throughout their lives. This also translates into a lower cancer risk.
Because the evidence is so strong that breastfeeding offers cancer protection to both mothers and their children, the AICR has made breastfeeding one of its “Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer.”
The study states, “at the beginning of life, human milk is best. The evidence that lactation protects the mother against breast cancer at all ages is convincing.” Furthermore, “The evidence on cancer … shows that sustained, exclusive breastfeeding is protective for the mother as well as the child.” This is the first major report to specifically recommend breastfeeding to prevent breast cancer in mothers, and to prevent overweight and obesity in children.
The study goes on to say that “Other benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their children are well known. Breastfeeding protects against infections in infancy, protects the development of the immature immune system, protects against other childhood diseases, and is vital for the development of the bond between mother and child. It has many other benefits.” For a complete copy of the AICR report, visit: www.dietandcancerreport.org.
Throughout its 51-year history, La Leche League International (LLLI) has supported breastfeeding mothers and their children. Celebrating its 50th year in 2006, LLLI continues to reach out to women seeking information, support, and encouragement for breastfeeding their babies. Local LLL Leaders across the United States offer support through local Group meetings and telephone help, online meetings, and a national toll-free 24-hour help line.
For more information about breastfeeding and for mothers needing assistance with breastfeeding, contact… www.llli.org or 1-800 LA LECHE
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