Breastfeeding may protect against ovarian cancer for 30+ years

  • Modugno F & et al.
  • Gynecol Oncol
  • 25 Jan 2019

  • curated by Deepa Koli
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Breastfeeding was associated with a 30% reduction in risk for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC); the association persisted for more than 30 years.
  • Breastfeeding for 3 months was associated with statistically significant reduction in risk.
  • Longer breastfeeding duration and greater number of breastfeeding episodes were associated with increased protection.

Why this matters

  • Measures to encourage and support women in breastfeeding may help reduce EOC risk.

Study design

  • Study included 689 incident EOC cases and 1572 healthy women.
  • Funding: National Cancer Institute

Key results

  • Women who breastfed any offspring showed significant reduction in risk for EOC (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.58-0.85) vs those who never breastfed.
  • More recent breastfeeding was associated with 44% reduction in risk (OR, 0.56; [95% CI, 0.32-0.95] for time since last breastfeeding within the last 10 years).
    • Association decreased but remained significant for >30 years since last episode (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53-0.88),
  • Average 3 months breastfeeding episode was associated with reduced risk (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58-0.80).
  • Longer breastfeeding duration was also associated with reduced risk (compared with never being breastfed, ORs for 1 year: 0.75 [95% CI, 0.61-0.94] and 0.62 [95% CI, 0.47-0.80]).
  • A greater number of breastfeeding episodes was associated with greater risk reduction (Ptrend=.01).

Limitations

  • Recall bias.

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