Breast Cancer/Breastfeeding

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Question
Hi
I am a 25 year old woman from India. I work as a wet nurse in an orphanage and have been lactating continuously for the past 5 years. I have a family history of breast cancer. My great grandmother died of it as did my own grandmother and my mother and her sister. My own sister now has it and I am worried sick that I may develop it also. I have regular breast exams and I carefully check for any sign that may suggest a cancer is developing. I want to know if there is a connection between breastfeeding and breast cancer. If there is a link, does lactation reduce or increase the risk of developing cancer?

Answer
It does seem that you do have a very strong family history of breast cancer. There is probably a genetic link in this case. There is a connection between breastfeeding and breast cancer but it is more to your benefit as it seems that breast feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. However it does NOT offer any kind of guarantee against it! With this family history I do suggest that you contact the oncology department of your nearest university hospital for regular check ups! The best way to find a breast cancer early is to do regular mammographies. However at your rather young age those are sometimes less reliable and should be complemented with ultrasound and MRI breast scans. Do this soonest! Good luck!


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Breast Cancer

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.

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I`m a doctor of medicine and a specialist in radiation therapy and medical oncology. I have long experience in diagnostics and treatment of breast tumours.

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I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps.You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions on the number of questions there.

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