New Rochelle, NY — A new study of women 20 years after undergoing surgery for primary breast cancer shows that breastfeeding for longer than 6 months is associated with a better survival rate. Among breast cancer survivors who breastfed for >6 months, both breast cancer mortality and overall mortality risk were less after 20 years, according to the study published in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicine website until September 30, 2016.
In “Breastfeeding Associated with Reduced Mortality in Women with Breast Cancer,” Margaretha Lööf-Johanson, MD, Lars Brudin, MD, PhD, and Marie Sundquist, MD, PhD, University of Linkoping, and County Hospital, Kalmar, Sweden, and Carl Edvard Rudebeck, MD, PhD, University of Tromso, Norway, examined the link between lifetime breastfeeding history and both breast cancer-specific and overall survival among women treated for breast cancer who had lived long enough for other causes of death to contribute substantially to mortality.
“This study confirms that the long-term maternal health benefits of breastfeeding are not only preventative in nature, but that it also has the capacity to reduce the severity of breast cancer,” says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.