This educational post is sponsored by Ochsner Hancock. Gulf Coast Moms Blog is thankful to have wonderful healthcare providers on the Gulf Coast to help our families live healthy lives.
A Personal Decision
The decision to breastfeed is very personal and depends on the mother’s unique situation. If breastfeeding is an option for you, you may want to consider it. Besides possibly lowering your risk for breast cancer, breastfeeding gives your child antibodies through the breast milk that can protect him/her from bacterial and viral infections. Still, these are highly individual decisions affected by many factors.
1 in 8
One in eight U.S. women
will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. And many women find that while they’re breastfeeding or pumping, they’re more aware than ever of their breast health.
Facts from the Expert
Gulf Coast Moms Blog met with a local expert to discuss the facts surrounding breastfeeding and lowering the risk for breast cancer. Dr. Lesley Meng
from Ochsner (yep, that Ochsner
) Medical Center in Bay St. Louis is an oncologist, hematologist and, most importantly, a mother to two very active boys. She’s passionate to bring awareness to women’s heath issues to our Gulf Coast community.
The information available is nothing new. Breastfeeding appears to lower breast cancer risk. This risk reduction was seen in both younger women and in women who had their first child later in life. Breastfeeding lowered the risk of both hormone-receptor-positive and hormone-receptor-negative breast cancers. Other studies have shown that breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer.
So how can breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer and what warning signs do mothers need to watch for?
Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms:
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
- Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
- Breast or nipple pain.
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
Seeing a doctor for an evaluation will help determine whether something you notice is cause for concern.
Dr. Meng practices at Ochsner Hancock. To schedule an appointment, call 228-220-5200.