Breastfeeding Lowers Risk of Ovarian Cancer for Decades, Study Finds

Breastfeeding Lowers Risk of Ovarian Cancer for Decades, Study Finds
Women who breastfeed are at a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer overall and some of its subtypes, including the deadliest — high-grade serous tumors, a large data study reported. This finding was particular to white women — because not enough black and Asian women could be included in the analysis — strengthened with longer times spent breastfeeding, and lasted for decades, its researchers wrote. The study, “Association Between Breastfeeding and Ovarian Cancer Risk,” was published in the journal JAMA Oncology. Because ovarian cancer is often detected late, its five-year survival rate is below 50%. Better and more personalized ways of preventing this cancer are needed, including the discovery of modifiable risk factors other than the use of oral contraceptives. “Numerous studies have investigated the association between breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk, with some showing a significant decrease in risk and others showing no association, leading the World Cancer Research Fund International to describe evidence of the association as limited,” the researchers wrote. Observed associations between the duration and timing of breastfeeding and ovarian cancer risk have also been inconsistent across different studies. Investigators in the U.S., working with colleagues in Australia and Europe, analyzed data from 13 case-control studies of ovarian cancer. Pooled data from these
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