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Cancer-Surviving Moms Should Breastfeed Their Babies

Cancer-Surviving Moms Should Breastfeed Their BabiesFor girls who survive cancer -- for the most part a given, since 80 percent of kids who undergo cancer treatments achieve long-term survival -- one of the best things they can do as adults for their health is to breastfeed her children whenever possible, if for no other reason than to counteract the negative effects of their earlier treatments, according to a recent study.

Based on a review of previous research, scientists believe breastfeeding may allow women to avoid or at least lessen some late effects -- side effects that occur more than five years after a cancer diagnosis due to chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy -- of their cancer treatments. Among them:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Bone mineral density
  • Metabolic syndrome risk factors
  • Secondary tumors

Researchers also noted other things women can do to protect their health, specifically from the lasting effects of their cancer treatments. No surprise, we touch on many of these health-affirming habits -- better nutrition, exercise and safe sun exposure -- often in this space.

Journal of Cancer Survivorship January 21, 2011

healthfinder.gov January 25, 2011

ScienceDaily January 21, 2011

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