Often, breastfeeding women are aware of how they feel when they notice some unusual changes in their breasts. While it is normal to spot lumps on the breasts during lactation, women often get worried thinking it could be signs of breast cancer. Rightfully so, for women who have breast cancer, they worry about breastfeeding and the kind of side effects their breast treatment could have on their babies.
So, the most common question that comes in every women’s mind is, can breastfeeding lead to breast cancer?
The simple answer is NO! Only 3% of breastfeeding women account for breast cancer cases. Breastfeeding is a protective factor, with women who have breastfed their children carrying a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Women are exposed to certain hormones in their life due to their menstrual cycles. These hormones can increase the risk of developing certain cancers. The months of pregnancy and breastfeeding decrease their menstrual cycles thus reducing their exposure to these hormones. Although the risk of developing breast cancer is low, women should always consult their doctors if they have concerns about their breast health.
Following are the various factors that make it difficult for lactating women to receive the right diagnosis:
So, what can be the reason for the development of lumps during breastfeeding?
So, when do women with lumps go to the doctor?
In most breastfeeding women, although breast lumps are common, they should consult a doctor if:
In conclusion, the chances of developing breast cancer while breastfeeding is very uncommon. Any concerns about breast health should be taken seriously and consultation with the doctor is recommended.