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Is it true that the risk of breast cancer increases if you don’t breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is an important activity not only for babies but also for mothers. In fact, the process of giving breast milk (ASI) is said to be able to prevent breast cancer. What are the medical facts related to this? Check out the explanation below.

Is it true that the risk of breast cancer increases if you don't breastfeed?

The Link Between Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Risk

Breast milk is important for sufficient nutrition for the baby’s body and for the mother to stay healthy. In fact, breast milk is far more beneficial than formula milk. However, information circulating in the community says that mothers who do not breastfeed have an increased risk of breast cancer. Is this claim true?

For information, breast cancer tends to strike women under the age of 50 more often. That’s what every adult woman needs to do a healthy lifestyle to prevent it.

In addition, if you have just given birth, breastfeeding can be used to prevent this disease.

Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer because hormonal influences during breastfeeding will delay the return of the menstrual cycle after giving birth.

This delay in menstruation reduces total exposure (lifetime) to the hormone estrogen which is known to affect the risk of cancer.

Also Read: Is it true that soybeans can reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Various Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

Here are a few Tips that can be done to prevent breast cancer, including:

1. Maintain Weight

If women experience weight problems or obesity at the age of menopause, then the risk of developing breast cancer can increase by 20 to 40 percent.

This seems to be related to the chaos of the hormone estrogen and insulin in the body. Therefore, maintaining an ideal body weight is important.

2. Implementing a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Try to regularly consume vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other foods with high antioxidant content.

Besides that, you also have to limit intake of foods high in fat such as high-fat meat, processed meats such as sausages, margarine, butter, fried foods, and other fast food.

3. Exercising Routine

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Do moderate-intensity exercise such as cycling or running for at least 30 minutes every day.

Also Read: 6 Types of Exercise to Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer

4. Quit Smoking and Consumption Alcoholic beverages

Smoking can increase the risk of developing breast cancer 7-13 percent greater than women who do not smoke. In fact, ex-smokers still have a risk of developing this disease.

Meanwhile, have a drink alcohol can increase the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 12 percent; even if you only drink it one glass every day.

This is because alcohol can affect hormones and the body’s metabolic system which ultimately results in the formation of cancer cells.

6. Reducing Sugar Intake

The hobby of consuming food or drinks with high sugar content can actually increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore, limiting sugar intake is something important to pay attention to.

  1. Anonymous. 2018. Lactation and The Risk of Cancer. (Accessed February 27, 2023)
  2. Stuebe Alison. 2009. The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants. (Accessed February 27, 2023)

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