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Breastfeeding protects against cancer

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The first cancer prevention report to recommend breastfeeding was published by the World Cancer Research Fund yesterday.

Following a review of 7,000 cancer studies, a panel of 21 experts said there was ‘convincing evidence’ that breastfeeding protected the mother against pre and post- menopausal breast cancer.

As previously reported in NT (NT news, 28 August, p8), the panel also said that being breastfed can protect babies from becoming obese in later life.

Panel member Professor David E.G. Shuker, said: ‘The evidence that breastfeeding was found to reduce the risk in both children and mothers is so strong that we made breastfeeding one of the 10 recommendations for preventing cancer.’

Mothers are advised to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, and then continue with complementary breastfeeding after that.

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