In nonsmoking women, breastfeeding for more than six months may protect against breast cancer

August 15, 2013

A new analysis has found that breastfeeding for more than six months may safeguard nonsmoking mothers against breast cancer. The same does not seem to hold true for smoking mothers, though. Published early online in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, the findings add to the list of benefits of breastfeeding for women and their babies.

To look at the relationship between and certain aspects of pregnancy and breastfeeding, Emilio González-Jiménez, PhD, of the University of Granada in Spain, and his colleagues analyzed the medical records of 504 female patients who were 19 to 91 years of age and who had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer from 2004 to 2009 at the San Cecilio University Hospital in Granada. The team looked at factors including age of diagnosis, how long the women breastfed, family history of cancer, obesity, , and smoking habits.

Their analysis revealed that women who underwent childbirth and who breastfed were diagnosed with breast cancer at a later age, regardless of the patients' family history of cancer. Nonsmokers who breastfed for periods of longer than six months tended to be diagnosed with breast cancer much later in life—an average of 10 years later than who breastfed for a shorter period. In contrast, were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and obtained no significant benefit from a longer period of breastfeeding.

"The results suggest that for nonsmokers, breastfeeding for more than six months not only provides children with numerous health benefits, but it also may protect mothers from breast cancer," said Dr. González-Jiménez.

Explore further: Can breastfeeding protect against ADHD?

More information: "Breastfeeding and the prevention of breast cancer: a retrospective review of clinical histories." Emilio González- Jiménez, Pedro A. García, María José Aguilar, Carlos A. Padilla, and Judit Álvarez. Journal of Clinical Nursing; Published Online: August 15, 2013 (DOI: 10.1111/jocn.12368).

Related Stories

Can breastfeeding protect against ADHD?

May 14, 2013

Breastfeeding has a positive impact on the physical and mental development of infants. A new study suggests that breastfeeding may protect against the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in ...

CDC: Breastfeeding rates increasing in US

August 1, 2013

(HealthDay)—More than three-quarters of infants begin breastfeeding, and rates at six and 12 months have increased since 2000, according to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Personality may affect a new mother's decision to breastfeed

August 6, 2013

A new analysis has found that mothers who are more extroverted and less anxious are more likely to breastfeed and to continue to breastfeed than mothers who are introverted or anxious. Published early online in the Journal ...

Recommended for you

Compound doubles up on cancer detection

October 8, 2015

Tagging a pair of markers found almost exclusively on a common brain cancer yields a cancer signal that is both more obvious and more specific to cancer, according to a study published last week in the Proceedings of the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.