The work of researchers from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is suggesting that mothers who have survived a childhood cancer (including leukemia and lymphoma) could offset some of the negative effects of their cancer treatment by breastfeeding. Their findings are published online in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
With the increased success of childhood cancer therapy comes a growing number of cancer survivors. These childhood cancer survivors are at risk for a number of long term adverse effects from treatment including organ failure, fertility problems, and impaired growth and development.
The research study has shown that breastfeeding can help improve bone density, and may help play a role in preventing heart disease and secondary cancers, all risks following cancer survival.
The group has concluded that breastfeeding should be a part of post- therapy lifestyle education, along with the importance of a healthy diet, refraining from smoking, and exercise