Along with colleagues, Stuebe looked at roughly 60,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II who had given birth one or more times. They found that in women who had a family history of the disease, the risk of premenopausal breast cancer was lowered by 59 percent if they had breast-fed for as little as three months. Women who did not have a mother or sister who had breast cancer saw no reduced risk.
Less extensive studies conducted in the past regarding the association between breast cancer and breast-feeding have also suggested that a woman’s risk of the disease may be lowered by breast-feeding. Researchers for this study did not find a link between reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer and hormones, leading them to suggest that the lowered risk is associated with the milk being taken out of the breast tissue after pregnancy.
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