MercuryNews.com | 12/28/2004 | Mothers' milk may hold promise for ill adults
SOME FIND BENEFITS FOR CANCER, OTHER SERIOUS DISEASES
By Barbara Feder Ostrov, Mercury News
"Breast milk isn't just for babies at the Mothers' Milk Bank in San Jose, which quietly offers it to adults with cancer and other serious illnesses to ease their symptoms. The milk bank is one of just six in the United States. It distributes donated breast milk primarily to premature and low-birth-weight babies. However, it also will provide breast milk to adults with a doctor's prescription. Adult use of breast milk is rare, according to Pauline Sakamoto of the milk bank in San Jose, which has served 28 adult patients in the past four years. Adults with cancer, digestive disorders and immune disorders may drink several ounces of milk daily or weekly to ease the ravages of chemotherapy, bolster their immune systems and improve their digestion, she said. No national figures exist for adult use of breast milk, but an informal survey of the nation's milk banks suggest that they currently serve dozens of adult patients...."