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Study: Docs do not tell mothers that breastfeeding reduces cancer risk



by Karina Mazhukhina / KOMO News

Photo credit: Women's Health Bureau

Doctors do not inform new mothers that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer, a new study.

Ohio State Researcher The university hired over 700 women aged 1

8 to 53 who had given birth at least once. Although more than half of the participants knew about the breast cancer risk associated with breastfeeding, only 16 percent said they had received this information from health care providers.

Women who were unaware of this risk stated that if they had known they would have influenced the decision to breastfeed. And women with this knowledge breastfeed longer than women who did not, with 76.4 percent of white women nursing their child for more than six months, compared to 63.2 percent of black women.

Between 1999 and 2013, black women had less development of breast cancer compared to white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, the risk of developing breast cancer is about the same for women of both races, although the death rate for black women is 40 percent higher.

Black women are more likely to experience triple negative breast cancer, a type of breast cancer that is aggressive and reoccurs after treatment. Scientists are researching to find out why some women are more prone to this type of cancer and how they can be treated.

According to study authors, breastfeeding practices could be influenced if women were informed about the relationship between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk.

The study highlights the need for physicians to improve maternal counseling, study authors add.


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