October is the month in which emphasis is placed on finding a cure for breast cancer, but not much is said about preventing it. Natural Family Planning is a great way to reduce a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. How? By using systematic NFP instead of the Pill and by breastfeeding instead of using formula.
To those who are informed, the most obvious way to reduce the risk of breast cancer is simple: Never take the Pill. If a young woman takes the Pill for 4 years or more before her first full-term pregnancy, she increases her risk of breast cancer by 44%. The World Health Organization has stated that the Pill is in a Group 1 (worst kind) carcinogen. Every October Pink article ought to be warning against the Pill!
Breastfeeding, God’s own plan for spacing babies—especially via ecological breastfeeding, greatly reduces a mother’s risk for getting breast cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research states that breastfeeding, especially exclusive followed by extended breastfeeding, reduces the risk of maternal breast cancer.
Researchers of a 2002 study involving 147,000 women said that a major contributor to the high incidence of breast cancer in the USA is that mothers do not breastfeed or breastfeed for too short a time. “If women in developed countries had 2.5 children, on average, but breastfed each child for six months longer than they currently do, about 25,000 breast cancers would be prevented each year, and if each child were breastfed for an additional twelve months, about 50,000 breast cancers might be prevented annually.”
What needs to be said by those involved with promoting breast cancer prevention is that taking the Pill and formula-feeding are high risk factors for breast cancer. Even when breast cancer has occurred in a family relative, the woman who breastfeeds reduces her chance of getting pre-menopausal breast cancer by 59%! One in 8 women will develop breast cancer and almost 40,000 die from this disease every year.
With ecological breastfeeding, the presence of amenorrhea is a factor for the decreased risk of ovarian cancer as well as breast cancer.
Natural Family Planning, whether it be systematic NFP to avoid the Pill or to breastfeed for an extended duration, needs to be widely promoted for all its health benefits, especially during the breast-cancer prevention month of October.
For more information on breast cancer prevention, read “Breast Cancer: Risks and Prevention” by Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.
(This blog was adapted from a 2013 blog.