Study: Few Women Told of Reduced Cancer Risk When Making Decision About Breastfeeding

THINK PINK: Women who breastfeed greatly lower their risk of developing breast cancer, but very few women are told this by their doctors. Researchers say this is particularly important for African American women, who already have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Posted: Oct 28, 2018 5:19 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 10:31 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio - With many infant formulas on the market promising the same benefits as breast milk, more women may forgo breastfeeding. However, when making that decision, women may not be considering the benefits breastfeeding has on their own health.

Research has shown that women who breastfeed greatly lower their risk of developing breast cancer, but a new study by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James) finds very few women are given this information by their healthcare providers.

"Prevention is the best weapon we have to fight cancer," said Dr. Bhuvana Ramaswamy, principal investigator of the study and breast medical oncology division director at the OSUCCC - James.

"Not every mother is able to breastfeed, but they should all have the information they need to make the best decision for themselves and their babies," she said. 

The study found that nearly 60 percent of moms knew of the link between breastfeeding and breast cancer, but of those women, only 16 percent received that information from a medical professional, something Ramaswamy says needs to change:

"We have a duty as a medical community to ensure our patients have the reliable knowledge," she said. "And when it comes from a professional, medical information is much more likely to affect people's choices."

Of the women who did not breastfeed, 60 percent said having this information would have influenced their decision.

This is particularly important for African American women, who are much more likely to develop an aggressive and deadly form of cancer called triple negative breast cancer.

The study found African American women were less likely to be informed about the health benefits of breastfeeding when compared with women of other ethnicities.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 252895

Reported Deaths: 6334
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078263457
Riverside19450479
Orange16191363
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial7039114
Alameda6556140
Fresno585177
Kern513081
Santa Clara5077160
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
Sacramento400469
San Francisco377650
Contra Costa356481
San Mateo3536108
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271921
Kings260032
Stanislaus253144
Monterey191515
Solano147625
Sonoma135911
Merced127211
Placer82811
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo61325
Madera5785
Santa Cruz4553
Napa3764
San Benito2652
Sutter2433
Lassen2420
El Dorado2260
Butte2063
Shasta1484
Humboldt1444
Nevada1291
Glenn1220
Yuba1061
Tehama881
Lake870
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Del Norte581
Calaveras530
Mono451
Tuolumne430
Inyo331
Amador310
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Oroville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 80°
Paradise
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Chester
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 58°
Red Bluff
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 99° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Willows
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
Temperatures return to seasonal averages as we see a dip in the jet stream through the middle of the week but triple digit heat returns by the weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events