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Breast Cancer Awareness: Breastfeeding reduces risk of cancer

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed every October and everywhere you go, the customary pink ribbons are sure to be there. While no cure has been found for breast cancer and over 200,000 women are diagnosed each year, studies have shown that there are certain preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of cancer. Studies around the globe have shown that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who don't.
What exactly causes breast cancer is still unknown, but doctors believe that it may be related to the amount of estrogen women are exposed to. After careful studies and evaluations, it has been concluded that 80% of all breast cancer is fueled by estrogen. The cancer relies on the estrogen to continue growing and therefore as a treatment for cancer is to suppress the reproduction of estrogen. When women become pregnant, they stop menstruating and it reduces levels of estrogen production. Once the baby is born and the mother is lactating, the hormone balance is different then non-lactating women, and the results are fewer periods. Research shows that breastfeeding for one and a half to two years over your lifetime reduces the risk. Another reason it is believed that breastfeeding reduces the risk is that it may cause changes to breast cells that make women more resistant to cancer related mutations.
For the breast cancer survivors out there, breastfeeding is still possible. Studies show that the hormones produced during pregnancy and breastfeeding do not cause recurrence of breast cancer. And on another good note, breast milk will not carry cancer cells and if you are breastfeeding a girl, it can also help protect her from developing breast cancer later on in life. Just one more reason why breast is best!
Get involved this month and help support the search for the cure. Albuquerque will be having it's 10th annual Komen Central NM Race for the Cure October 10th, 2010 at 10 am at Isotopes Park. For more information or to show your support and participate contact Sarah at 505-301-0247.

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