Risk of Breast Cancer Is Higher for New Moms, Study Suggests

Find out just how long this heightened risk lasts and what factors play a part.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Dec 2018
hands folded on table in a serious way
Photo: Rawpixel

Women who give birth may be more susceptible to developing breast cancer, according to a study from Annals of Internal Medicine. The research pooled findings from 15 prospective studies and discovered the increased risk for breast cancer which occurs after a women gives birth can last for more than 20 years. The risk may also be enhanced when a woman is older at her first birth, or has a family history of breast cancer.

The data shows that compared with women of the same age who had never given birth, women who experienced childbirth had an increased risk for breast cancer that peaked about five years after birth and continued for about 24 years after birth.

The increased risk was seen for both estrogen receptor (ER) positive and ER negative breast cancer, and breastfeeding did not change the risk patterns.

The results are not meant to frighten you, but to help you stay informed. And the results will hopefully help develop better breast cancer risk prediction models to inform the best decision-making when it comes to breast cancer screening and prevention strategies.

Breast cancer survivors make for warrior mamas. After Mom and breast cancer survivor Meghan Koziel gave birth, she got a lot of praise for her viral hospital sign, which declared her hospital room a “no breastfeeding zone.”

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