Study reveals multiple pregnancies and extended breastfeeding reduce women’s lung cancer risk, suggesting reproductive factors influence cancer screening and prevention.
A study looked at how pregnancy and breastfeeding affect a woman’s risk of getting lung cancer. Researchers found that women who had more pregnancies had a lower risk.
Breastfeeding for a total of one year or longer also lowered risk compared to never breastfeeding. The study included over 300,000 women. Those with at least three pregnancies had an 18% lower lung cancer risk compared to women with no pregnancies. Women who breastfed for one year total had an 8% lower risk versus those who never breastfed. Breastfeeding may cause changes in hormones that protect against lung cancer.
More research is still needed on why pregnancy and breastfeeding lower lung cancer risk. But the results suggest that reproductive factors should be considered in addition to smoking history to determine which women are at highest risk for screening or prevention efforts. All women should make decisions about pregnancy and breastfeeding based on their individual situations.