Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Breast Feeding protects against cancer
A special report from Radio Nederland.

"Now the verdict is clear. This new research compared the results of studies done on 150,000 women in thirty countries. "The broad range of data from different countries made it possible for the first time to determine the exact decrease of risk of breast cancer with breastfeeding," explains Dr Matti Rookus, whose work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute formed part of the data. From this new analysis, it emerges that more than 6 in 100 women in the western world get breast cancer before the age of 70, whereas in developing countries the figures amount to fewer than 3 in 100. Here, women have an average of 6.5 children and suckle each one for about 2 years. In conclusion, the British researchers determined that the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 7% with each child and there's an extra 4.3% decrease in risk with each year of breastfeeding."
Subtle truths about breastfeeding
Writer Elizabeth Bauchner of Ithica, New York, (ebauchner@clarityconnect.com) explains how researchers and scientists don't think of breastfeeding as the biological norm:

"When I weaned my first daughter to a bottle at two months of age, she became sick all the time. She must have had 10 serious ear infections by the time she was 18 months old. Most of the literature available on the topic tells me that breastfed babies are healthier and have fewer ear infections. I would have rather heard that formula-fed babies are sick more often and prone to ear infections. It may just be semantics but if I had known the health risks of formula rather than the health benefits of breastfeeding, I might have worked a bit harder at nursing my daughter longer. "