Reduce the risk of childhood cancer

Breastfeeding, sometimes called breastfeeding, provides many benefits for both baby and birth parent. It may even offer some protection against childhood leukemia.

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. It’s the The most common type of cancer in children and adolescents. Most children with leukemia have a type called acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL). Most others suffer from acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Chronic leukemias are rare in children.

If you are undergoing treatment for leukemia and want to breastfeed, there are some important things to consider first.

In this article, we will look at what the research says about the effect of breastfeeding on the risk of childhood leukemia and what a person with leukemia should know about breastfeeding.

The exact cause of leukemia is unclear. It may involve a combination of factors. It is also unclear why breast milk offers some protection against leukemia.

Researchers have several theories. For example, components of breast milk:

  • contain antibodies
  • reduce inflammatory response
  • affect the development of the immune system
  • prevent infection
  • act as a prebiotic, helping to promote a healthy gut microbiome
  • affect the pH level of the stomach and promote the lipid protein a-lactalbumin, which induces tumor cell death

Breastfeeding for at least 6 months seems to be best.

A Meta-analysis 2015 of 17 studies suggest that 14 to 20 percent of all cases of childhood leukemia can be prevented by breastfeeding for 6 months or more.

Another one study published in 2015 collected data from 7,399 children with ALL and 11,181 controls aged 2 to 14 years. The researchers found that breastfeeding for at least 6 months was associated with a decreased risk of ALL.

And one retrospective case-control study in China suggested that promoting breastfeeding for 7-9 months could help reduce the incidence of childhood leukemia.

According to a Systematic review and meta-analysis 2021breastfeeding was associated with:

  • 23% lower risk of childhood leukemia compared to no breastfeeding or occasional breastfeeding
  • 23% less risk for the longest breastfeeding duration compared to the shortest

Breastfed children tend to have better dental health and better neurodevelopmental outcomes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. They may also be less exposed to conditions such as:

Some research suggests that breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of neuroblastoma, another type of cancer. Further studies are needed to investigate this link.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Nursing Parents

Breastfeeding parents also enjoy a few health benefits. This includes a reduced risk of:

May be. This is a case-by-case situation, depending on your current treatment.

For example, radiation therapy near the breasts can affect your ability to produce milk, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Radiation therapy to other parts of your body may not affect your ability to breastfeed.

Some medicines can pass to your baby through breast milk. This includes strong chemotherapy drugs that could harm your baby. Targeted therapies and immunotherapy drugs can also pass through breast milk.

Other situations where breastfeeding is not recommended include:

If you have leukemia and want to breastfeed, consult your doctor. A thorough review of your medical condition and treatment regimen will help you determine if it is safe to breastfeed.

Infant formula does not cause leukemia. But introducing formula into a baby’s diet changes the gut microbiome. Some research suggests it may affect how the immune system responds to pathogens.

A study 2019 indicates that breastfeeding for short periods or not at all may be associated with a slightly higher risk of childhood leukaemia.

Another one study 2019 found that linoleic acid and linolenic acid were higher in newborns who later developed childhood leukemia than in those who did not. Researchers have found that infant formula contains more of these essential fatty acids than breast milk.

Still, if you can’t breastfeed or breastfeed, or prefer not to, infant formula is a safe alternative.

We don’t know exactly why some children develop leukemia. Children don’t have decades of lifestyle and environmental exposures that contribute to adult cancers.

According to American Cancer Societyrisk factors for childhood leukemia may include:

  • genetic syndromes like Down syndrome and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • inherited immune system disorders or having a weakened immune system
  • having a brother with leukemia
  • a high level of radiation exposure
  • previous treatment with chemotherapy drugs

Your doctor can help you understand if your child is at higher than average risk of developing leukemia.

Overall, childhood leukemia is a rare disease.

Research indicates that breastfeeding for at least 6 months can reduce the risk of childhood leukemia. Of course, breastfeeding will not eliminate all risks.

If you are currently taking treatment for leukemia and want to breastfeed, talk to your doctor. Some drugs, including chemotherapy drugs, can pass into breast milk. This is potentially harmful to your baby.

It is well documented that breastfeeding provides many health benefits. It is an ideal food for your baby. But health issues, barriers to breastfeeding, and personal preferences are all factors. Sometimes it just doesn’t work or it’s not the best choice for you.

Fortunately, the right infant formula can provide your baby with the nutrients he needs to be healthy. Your primary care physician or pediatrician can advise you on the type of formula that is best for your baby.

Comments are closed.