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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why isn't BF mentioned when breast cancer prevention is discussed? I've tried looking on the Komen Foundations site for further information but I keep getting an error when I try to go to their search results.

They are closed unti after the holidays. If I can't get a good answer from them about this, I'm going to start writing letters.

Sus
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mama24-7
Why isn't BF mentioned when breast cancer prevention is discussed?
Good question! It should be! My Bradley instructor told us that each year a woman breastfeeds significantly reduces her chances of getting breast cancer, and that, if she manages to breastfeed for a total of at least 7 years, her chances have dropped to zero!
 

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I get a newsletter from the Y-Me Nat'l Breast Cancer Org. and I scan it each time... they have a section where they give kudos to groups doing good work in the field, etc. Not once, anywhere in the publication does it mention breastfeeding... I know it's geared towards those already living with cancer or who have survived cancer, but they could surely take notice of the efforts of breastfeeding promotion when it's going to save so many women from getting cancer. It's odd they don't, it seemed a natural connection to me...
 

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Excellent point Mama24-7!!

Here is something else they never mention during breast cancer campaingns...

YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A LUMP TO HAVE BREASTCANCER.

Yes, self exams and mammograms are extremely important, but lumps and bumps are not the only ways breat cancer presents itself. My mom died from breast cancer a little more than 3 years ago. She had regular mammograms and always checked herself and we had NO family history. Well one day she got a RASH on her breast. Thought nothing of it. Chalked it up to a new bra, new soap, whatever. Docs dismissed it b/c most are not trained or educated on this particular very deadly form of BC.


Inflammatory breast cancer usually grows in nests or sheets, rather than as a confined, solid tumor and therefore can be diffuse throughout the breast with no palpable mass. The cancer cells clog the lymphatic system just below the skin. Some women who have inflammatory breast cancer may remain undiagnosed for long periods, even while seeing their doctor to learn the cause of her symptoms. The symptoms are similar to mastitis and some doctors, not recognizing IBC, will prescribe antibiotics.

One or more of the following are Typical Symptoms of IBC:

* Swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few days

* Itching

* Pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythema) sometimes with texture similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange)

* Ridges and thickened areas of the skin

* What appears to be a bruise that does not go away

* Nipple retraction

* Nipple discharge, may or may not be bloody

* Breast is warm to the touch

* Breast pain (from a constant ache to stabbing pains)

* Change in color and texture of the aureole

My mom died 12 months after the figured out her diagnosis. It is VERY aggressive and nobody in the BC community seems to talk about it. Check out this link to see what a breast with Inflamatory Breast Cancer looks like so you can monitor yourself for this as well as lumps. Pass it on!

http://www.ibcresearch.org/symptoms/ibcvsc.htm

Save a life, Pass it on!
 

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I have often wondered the same thing too. I think it goes along the lines that we don't want to make anyone feel bad for the choices that they make. I think it's sad because if it was out there more I think more women would rethink their decision to not breatfeed.

Sustainer- Really 7 years and your chances are zero??? I've been breastfeeding for 5 1/2 years and since the baby is only 6 months old we've got at least another 2 years!


boatbaby-
I'm sorry for your loss
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sustainer
My Bradley instructor told us that each year a woman breastfeeds significantly reduces her chances of getting breast cancer, and that, if she manages to breastfeed for a total of at least 7 years, her chances have dropped to zero!
I'd like to think we could limit our chances to zero, but since I believe that other factors contribute to breast cancer, I doubt there is much we could do to get our chances down to zero, short of complete masectomy.

Velcromom, Can I have the website of the Y-Me Nat'l Breast Cancer Org?

Boatbaby, thanks for all the info on symptoms of IBC. I have a friend, who I believe BF for at least 5 years, who was just diagnosed w / precancerous cells, not sure if it's IBC, who had a discharge for a long time, and had doctors telling her all kinds of unusual diagnosis until this last one. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving she had all her milk ducts and a mass removed from one breast. So, unfortunately, BF can't prevent it all.

THnaks for the discussion.
Sus
 

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This has occurred to me as well. We have friends with a Relay for Life team that we always walk on, and she said next year I could hang up breastfeeding posters with info at the table. I actually wanted to make a banner that said "Use 'Em or Lose 'Em" but dh thought it was offensive.
Annette
 

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You can NEVER have a zero percent chance of breast cancer- it's statistically impossible. It has been found that bf'ing reduces the risk (the longer the better) but it's not possible to eliminate the risk.

I don't understand why bf'ing isn't promoted more in regards to breast cancer prevention. I do know that in the latest Fit Pregnancy magazine there was a tiny little article/poll about women's main reasons for bf'ing...something like 83% said for the baby's health and it was less than 1% for mother's health. Interesting.

I too find the "Use 'em or Lose 'em" slogan as a bit offensive and well, just wrong. My Mom breastfed all of us (3 kids) in a time (in the 70's) when not many women were bf'ing. She was told by her doctor, "you won't have to worry about breast cancer". She was diagnosed at age 31 and passed away at age 37.
 

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Please forgive my complete ignorance on the subject of breast cancer treatment, but I've been wondering: why can't they just remove the breast? If the cancer is just in the breast, wouldn't that get rid of the cancer? Thanks.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sustainer
Please forgive my complete ignorance on the subject of breast cancer treatment, but I've been wondering: why can't they just remove the breast? If the cancer is just in the breast, wouldn't that get rid of the cancer? Thanks.
Because you can never know for sure that it hasn't developed beyond the breast. Mastectomies are done in hopes of this, but usually in combination with radiation and/or chemotherapy. It really all depends on the type of cancer and how advanced it is, though.

There are some women with strong family histories of breast cancer that get tested for the breast cancer gene mutation and decide to have prophylactic mastectomies. Even that is no guarantee that you won't get breast cancer. It is impossible to remove ALL of the breast tissue.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lisabc311
I too find the "Use 'em or Lose 'em" slogan as a bit offensive and well, just wrong. My Mom breastfed all of us (3 kids) in a time (in the 70's) when not many women were bf'ing. She was told by her doctor, "you won't have to worry about breast cancer". She was diagnosed at age 31 and passed away at age 37.
That's just the sort of situation I thought about, once I thought a little.


Annette
 

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Breastfeeding does decrease breast cancer rates. I know the more you breastfeed the more it protects you AND being breastfed ALSO protects you. Breastfeeding for longer periods of time protects you more, too. Not breastfeeding is not natural or normal so it obviously does something to the body that would not otherwise happen if that person breastfed and did with her body what she was supposed to do (obviously being able to).

I personally can't stand the ignorance of people that talk about breast cancer and say they are supportive of finding a cure, etc.. and then are against breastfeeding. I don't think "Use em or Lose em" is offensive. Maybe for this culture where no one breastfeeds it is, but you know at this point (I feel we're pretty helpless in the US right now with or low breastfeeding rates and super high breastcancer rates) I don't even know of women are educated enough to know there is a link. It's like wondering "mhh, why does chaffing happen to men?" and to the surprise of most americans the answer is "because circumcision is not normal and it hurts the penis, taking away the part that it needs to work in the right way." (when we go against what our normal, natural bodies are supposed to be, something is always going to happen) but I guess some people would be so ignorant that wouldn't even know that, KWIM? I feel your pain, it's so frustrating to read all this ignorance, it makes me
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by loving-my-babies

I don't think "Use em or Lose em" is offensive. Maybe for this culture where no one breastfeeds it is,
....

I used 'em and I lost them both anyway. I probably wouldn't have thought this as offensive if I hadn't been diagnosed. They should talk about it, sure, but as a long term breastfeeding vegetarian with no family history of cancer, I got it at age 31.

At any rate, I probably wouldn't have found it if I hadn't been breastfeeding. Manipulating your boobs to feed a baby and toddler is in itself a daily breast exam.

For those of you unfamiliar with breast cancer, there are actually many forms it takes - many types of tumors, sometimes related to estrogen, sometimes not, etc. It is pretty crazy.
 

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I know breastfeeding doesn't protect 100% against breast cancer. Nothing in life is 100% and we all are aware of that. Unfortunately our society thinks breasts are for sex and not for feeding babies, so the "use'em or lose'em" thing is not at all offensive IMO because it makes an impact. Unfortunately for most american women just reading that breastfeeding is best for their babies is not enough for them to do it, so whatever works, I am all for it. I also know people that breastfed that said they "used'em and lost them" but only breastfed for a short time. The studies done so far show decreased rates of breast cancer in women who breastfeed at least a certain amount of time, not just "breastfed". Also, it's not if YOU breastfed *only*, studies have shown that the facts that YOU WERE breastfed and that YOU BREASTFEED go into play as well. So for example, if you were breastfed AND you breastfeed as well, your chances are lower.
 

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Annette...thank you for the hugs!
I miss my Mom a lot- especially at this time of year and being pregnant, too.


Owensom....BIG HUGS to you!
My Mom was also a very health-conscious person, who breastfed 3 kids, with NO family history of breast cancer...and she also was diagnosed at age 31. I hope things are going well for you now.
 

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this has been posted on this board before, but I think it is a superb explanation of the relationship between breastfeeding and breast cancer.

http://www.bcpinstitute.org/booklet.htm

Also I heard the bf/bc relationship was mentioned in a major Canadian women's magazine:

"In the November 2004 issue of Chatelaine magazine(a monthly Canadian women's magazine), there is a feature entitled "who will live the longest?" It
compares three different women, their lifestyles, eating habits and family
history and a panel of experts estimates their life expectancy. The first
woman was praised for including soy in her diet, since she is approaching
menopause. "Most women's risk for breast cancer increases (then)," says
Aletta Poll, a genetic counsellor with the Familial Breast Cancer Research
Unit in Toronto. But, Poll adds, "Janet's risk will be reduced because she
spent six years breastfeeding." "(A direct relationship exists between
prolonged breastfeeding and healthy breast tissue, though scientists haven't
pinpointed the link yet.)" This last statement was in the article as well."

Janice
 

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I also wanted to share that I read an article on Compleat Mother, that said women have lower chances of getting breast cancer when they have breastfed for *at least* two years. It said it didn't see a difference in women that breastfed for a couple of months only, and women that don't breastfeed at all. Interesting.. makes sense, though. So not all women that breastfeed are protected, it's women that have been breastfed as babies AND that breastfeed a minimum of 2 years.
 
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