Breast-feeding and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer

School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Australia.
Cancer Causes and Control (Impact Factor: 2.74). 04/2012; 23(6):919-27. DOI: 10.1007/s10552-012-9963-4
Source: PubMed


Evidence suggests that breast-feeding may decrease the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer but it is not clear whether there is a relationship with duration of breast-feeding, patterns of breast-feeding, or particular histological subtypes of ovarian cancer. We sought to investigate these issues in detail.
Data from participants in a population-based study of ovarian cancer in western Washington State, USA (2002-2007) who had had at least one birth (881 cases and 1,345 controls) were used to assess relations between patterns of breast-feeding and ovarian cancer. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Women who ever breast-fed had a 22 % reduction in risk of ovarian cancer compared with those who never breast-fed (OR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.64-0.96) and risk reduction appeared greater with longer durations of feeding per child breast-fed (OR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.32-0.98 for 18 months average duration breast-feeding versus none). Introduction of supplementary feeds did not substantially alter these effects. The overall risk reduction appeared greatest for the endometrioid and clear cell subtypes (OR per month of average breast-feeding per child breast-fed = 0.944, 95% CI 0.903-0.987).
Among women who have had the opportunity to breast-feed, ever breast-feeding and increasing durations of episodes of breast-feeding for each breast-fed child are associated with a decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer independent of numbers of births, which may be strongest for the endometrioid subtype.

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Available from: Jennifer A Doherty, Mar 23, 2015
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    • "Compared to formula feeding, breastfeeding protects against childhood conditions such as gastroenteritis, respiratory tract infections, otitis media, atopic dermatitis, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome [2] and has also been shown to improve cognitive development in children [11] and reduce the risk of developing childhood obesity [12-14]. Formula feeding is associated with well-known health risks [3,9,15,16]. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding has been estimated at 13 billion dollars in the United States [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Breastfeeding has numerous health benefits. In 2010, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest breastfeeding initiation rate (64.0%) in Canada. Formula feeding is associated with well-known health risks. Exclusive formula feeding is the "cultural norm" in some regions of the province. Women appear resistant to changing their infant feeding behaviors and remain committed to their decision to formula-feed. The primary aim of this qualitative study was to examine individual factors that shaped mothers' decisions to formula-feed their infants. Nineteen mothers who were currently formula feeding their children participated in the study. Qualitative research in the form of focus groups was conducted in three communities in the province in 2010. A thematic content analysis identified the main themes that influenced mothers' decisions to formula-feed their infants. The main themes included issues concerning the support needed to breastfeed, the convenience associated with formula feeding, and the embarrassment surrounding breastfeeding in public. These findings help to better understand why mothers choose formula feeding over breastfeeding and may help to inform the development of public health interventions targeted at this population of mothers.
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    • "Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) represents one of the most common gynecologic malignancies worldwide. It has the highest mortality rate among malignant tumors in female reproductive system [1] [2]. Because of the lack of specific early symptoms or effective tumor biomarkers, most patients with EOC are diagnosed at the advanced stages, and the prognosis of these patients is still poor, even though there has been great improvement on traditional treatments, such as surgery, supplemented with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. "
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