-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding may help
reduce some long-term negative side effects of cancer treatment in
women who survived childhood cancer, according to a new study.
The findings suggest that making women aware of the benefits of
breast-feeding should be part of routine recommendations for a
post-cancer healthy lifestyle, said Susan W. Ogg and colleagues
from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The researchers reviewed studies that examined whether women can
successfully breast-feed after treatment for childhood cancer, how
childhood cancer treatment affects women's health in general over
the long term and whether breast-feeding might reduce both the risk
and impact of treatment-related toxicity in cancer survivors.
The analysis revealed that breast-feeding can have a positive
impact on a mother's bone mineral density, metabolic syndrome risk
factors, cardiovascular disease and secondary tumors -- health
factors that are all negatively affected by childhood cancer.
"Alongside advice to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, abstain from smoking, use suitable sun protection, practice safe sex and take part in regular physical activity, women who have survived childhood cancer and are physically able to breast-feed should be actively encouraged to do so to help protect them against the many lasting effects of cancer treatment," the researchers concluded.
The study findings were released online in advance of
publication in an upcoming print issue of the
Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
About 80 percent of U.S. children and teens diagnosed with
childhood cancer now survive, but many face major health challenges
stemming from the cancer itself or its treatment. These challenges
include impaired growth and development, organ dysfunction,
reproductive difficulties and risk of cancer recurrence.
The American Cancer Society has more about
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