How does breast feeding lower the risk of breast cancer?

Theoretical. No one knows for sure. One theory is that breast feeding makes the cells in the breast do what they are meant to do-- make breast milk. Cancers often arise from cells in our body that haven't matured fully. The hormones your body produces when breast feeding force breast cells to "grow up", making them less likely to become a cancer later on.
Lowers Estrogen. Estrogen fuels majority of breast cancers. Breast feeding lowers estrogen exposure and can reduce risk of breast cancer.

Related Questions

How does breast feeding lower the risk of breast cancer?

Several theories. We don't currently know "exactly" how. Breast feeding for six months and longer seems to make a difference. One theory is that milk production keeps the cells busy so that they don't have the energy to mutate into cancer. Another is that toxins are drained with milk production. Another is that hormone levels with milk production are protective - estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, oxytocin etc. Read more...

How exactly can breast feeding lower the risk of breast cancer?

Hormonal changes. Breast feeding has been shown to be a factor that is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer the cause if this effect is most likely hormonal as estrogen levels are one of the factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Read more...
Number of Periods. Epidemiological studies have shown multiple factors associated with lower risks for breast cancer in women who have had fewer periods (late puberty, early menopause, pregnancy esp@early age, breastfeeding). We think this has to do with estrogen exposure but its probably not that simple. Read more...

Does having children decrease and breast feeding decrease your chances of breast cancer.

Sort of. It is not a straight forward relationship. Having children and breast feeding are beneficial but do not provide immunity from breast cancer. Please consult this site for more information. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/reproductive-history. Read more...
Yes. Check out the following link: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/NotHavingChildrenorHavingFirstAfterAge35.html. Read more...

Does breast feeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?

The . The short answer is yes, for both mom and baby girls. How much does it reduce the risk is more debatable. It also reduces the risk of ovarian and possibly endometrial cancers as well. In f act pregnancy itself may help reduce the risks of these also. Here are a couple of studies from reputable journals that demonstrated reduction in breast cancer risk for women that breast fed: if women who do not breastfeed or who breastfed for less than 3 months were to do so for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduce by 11%; if all women with children lactated for 24 months or longer, the incidence might be reduced by nearly 25%. Source: newcomb, p. Etal. "lactation and reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer." n engl j med 1994; 330(2):81-87. Women who were breastfed as infants, even if only for a short time, showed an approximate 25% lower risk of developing premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who were bottle-fed as an infant. Source: freudenheim, j. "exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer." epidemiology 1994 5:324-331. Read more...

Does breast cancer interfere with breast feeding?

Depends on treatment. The answer depends on the extent of cancer and the kind of treatment -- so it is best is to discuss your individual case with your physician. It depends on how much tissue is removed and the degree of scarring. If a woman is on chemotherapy or other drugs that are secreted in the milk and should be passed to an infant, then yes, during that time she cannot breastfeed. Read more...

Is breast feeding from the right side is contraindicated in a women had a breast cancer in the left side?

No. In fact, one may even be able to breastfeed from the affected side following a lumpectomy, although this is significantly diminished following radiation therapy. Read more...
No. It would not be contraindicated, but you should check with you doctors before starting. Read more...

Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Yes. Women who have had children and breast feed have a lower risk for breast cancer as opposed to never pregnant women, obese women and smokers. Read more...