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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Association Between Breastfeeding and Ovarian Cancer Risk

The results from several oncology studies have indicated that breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. However, it is unclear if the continued risk reduction occurs beyond pregnancy. Also, the effect of duration since the final breastfeeding period and any decreased risk in ovarian cancer is indeterminate.

In the study, 9973 ovarian cancer patients were compared to 13,483 controls (non-ovarian cancer subjects). Breastfeeding was associated with a 24% lower risk of invasive ovarian cancer. Moreover, irrespective of parity (number of pregnancies), breastfeeding was associated with a reduction in risk of all ovarian cancers, particularly high-grade cancers.

Breastfeeding was associated with a 24% lower risk of invasive ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding is associated with a significant decrease in risk for ovarian cancer, especially the high-grade subtype, which is the most aggressive form of ovarian cancer. The findings suggest that breastfeeding potentially lowers the risk of ovarian cancer, an effect that was independent of pregnancy alone.

About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.

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