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Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Risk: Our Experience and Mini-review of the Literature

Anastasia Bothou, Stefanos Zervoudis, Maria Iliadou, Panagiota Pappou, Georgios Iatrakis, Georgios Tsatsaris, Panagiotis Peitsidis, Aggeliki Gerende, Anna Chalkidou, Xanthi Anthoulaki, Nikolaos Nikolettos, Panagiotis Tsikouras.


Background: According to data from World Health Organization, breast cancer constitutes the second most common diagnosed malignancy after lung cancer and the second leading cause of death among women in 2020, worldwide. The protective role of breastfeeding in the emergence of breast malignancy has been mentioned in several studies, indicating the important part it can have in the effort of reducing breast cancer’s incidence. Objective: To investigate a possible association between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk in Greek women. Methods: Totally, 391 women participated in our case-control retrospective study. In the case group included 238 women with breast cancer, while in control group 153 women without breast cancer who were enrolled in two breast clinics in Greece. All women were examined clinically and with breast ultrasound, while those older than 40 years old also with bilateral digital mammography. Results: The x2 (chi-square) test found a statistically significant reverse correlation between breast cancer and breastfeeding ≥12 months (cumulative) (p = 0.001). It was observed that the percentages of patients who breastfed ≥12 months were lower than those of healthy women. Conclusion: Breastfeeding and particularly the cumulative period of ≥12 months is related to the maximum of the protection from breast cancer.

Key words: Breast cancer, Breastfeeding, Lactation, Breast Malignancy, Breast cancer risk factors.

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