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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 09:30 AM

Study: Waiting to Have Kids May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/12/study-waiting-to-have-kids-may-reduce-risk-of-breast-cancer/266372/



PROBLEM: There have been some indications that maternity might be a protective factor against breast cancer. The most common type of breast cancer, ER positive, occurs less among women who've carried a child to term and who breast-feed. Breast-feeding, additionally, has also been shown to decrease the risk of one the most aggressive breast cancers: "triple-negative." But as yet, not enough is known about the relationship between reproductive history and one's risk of developing any types of breast cancer.

METHODOLOGY: In this observational study, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center looked at data from almost 2,000 women between the ages of 20 and 44. About half had a history of breast cancer; their reproductive histories were compared, by sub-type, with the women who had never had the disease.

RESULTS: The longer women waited before having their first child after their first period, the lower their risk of triple-negative breast cancer. At the peak of the findings, a 15-year interval was associated with a 60 percent reduction in risk.

Breast-feeding, too, was associated with an inverse risk of the same sub-type of breast cancer. But no associations between childbirth or breast-feeding were found for ER positive or HER2-overexpressing breast cancers.

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Reply Study: Waiting to Have Kids May Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2012 OP
SheilaT Dec 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 12:17 PM

1. My oldest is turning thirty in less than a week.

Back when I had him there had been a very large rise in breastfeeding for lots of reasons.

I was also reading at that time, that breastfeeding for a decent period of time altogether, something on the order of at least two years, was understood to be protective against breast cancer.

Let's see, I was 34 when I had him, so there were 20 years from when I had my first period to when I got pregnant. I had another son 4 years later. Nursed both of them for about 2 years each.

I know that the fact that (so far at least) I've not gotten breast cancer can in no way demonstrate if late childbearing and long term nursing is a factor, because I'm only one person. But even if I'd been told 30 years ago that late childbearing and long term nursing put a woman at greater risk, I still wouldn't have had my children any earlier, and I still would have nursed them, because of all the positive benefits of doing so.

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