Breast cancer, a type of cancer that arise from the cells in the breast, is a significant health concern affecting women worldwide. Studies have brought some encouraging news, showing that breastfeeding can play a role in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women.
Recent studies have shown a 4.3 % reduction in the risk of breast cancer when a woman breastfeeds and prolonged breastfeeding offers even more significant protection.
Benefits of breastfeeding
With decreasing the risk of breast cancer, breastfeeding also offers other health benefits to the child and the mother.
Babies who have been breast show a decrease in risk of
4.Allergic rhinitis: Allergic rhinitis occurs due to allergens such as pollen, dust, etc. The symptoms include sneezing and nasal congestion.
6.type 2 diabetes: In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce insulin or the cells don't react to insulin.
Mothers who breastfeed show a decrease in risk of
1. Cardiovascular disease
3. Breast and Ovarian cancer.
How does breastfeeding decrease the risk of breast cancer?
Understanding the underlying mechanisms can help us appreciate why breastfeeding plays such a vital role in breast cancer risk reduction.To comprehend how breastfeeding influences breast cancer risk, let's understand the female menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is a complex hormonal process that prepares the body for a potential pregnancy. During this cycle, the lining of the uterus thickens in preparation for the implantation of a fertilized egg. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone play key roles in regulating this process.
Estrogen is responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics in females, including the growth and enlargement of breast tissue. Progesterone, on the other hand, plays a critical role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy and supporting early pregnancy if conception occurs.
The menstrual cycle involves an increase in levels of estrogen and progesterone levels. During this time, breast cells undergo rapid cell growth and death as part of the natural breast tissue remodeling process. However, with each menstrual cycle, there is a possibility of errors occurring during cell replication, leading to mutations in the breast cells. These mutations may increase the risk of breast cancer development.
Here's where breastfeeding comes into play as a protective factor against breast cancer. When a woman breastfeeds, her body experiences a natural pause or disruption in the menstrual cycle.
As a result of this hormonal shift during breastfeeding, the number of menstrual cycles a woman undergoes over her lifetime decreases. With fewer menstrual cycles, there are fewer opportunities for potential replication errors in breast cells, reducing the overall risk of breast cancer.
It's important to highlight that while breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, it is just one of several factors influencing a woman's overall risk profile. Genetics, lifestyle choices, family history, and other factors also play crucial roles in determining individual risk.
In conclusion, breastfeeding provides not only numerous benefits for infants but also important health advantages for mothers, including a decreased risk of breast cancer.