Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: Myths and Facts

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and infant but, many women find breastfeeding a challenging process. And breast cancer can make it more complicated.

Here are some common myths and facts about breastfeeding and breast cancer.

Myth 1: Breastfeeding reduce mother’s risk of developing breast cancer

True! Breastfeeding women will have less exposure to hormones that increase the risk of breast cancer and hence less risk of breast cancer.

Read more: Does breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer?

Myth 2.: Woman can get breast cancer while breastfeeding

It’s rare but there are some cases of breast cancer while breastfeeding. Hence breastfeeding women should pay attention to the suspicious lump that needs medical attention.

Myth 3: Breastfeeding women can get a mammogram

It is possible to get a mammogram while breastfeeding. But sometimes results may be false-positive as breast tissue is denser during breastfeeding. Therefore breast cancer specialists often recommend imaging and biopsy.

Myth 4: Breastfeeding is not possible after breast cancer

It is possible to do breastfeeding after breast cancer treatment with proper consultation with a doctor. It can be decided based on the treatment taken.Because therapies like chemotherapy, hormone therapy and anaesthesia administered during surgery, can affect a woman’s milk supply or negatively impact the baby. Hence it is necessary to ask your cancer doctor whether you can do breastfeeding or not.

Myth 5: If you have lump in breast while breastfeeding, it can be sign of breast cancer

Many breastfeeding women notice breast lumps that are non-cancerous and are no cause for concern.

However, a woman should contact a breast cancer doctor if:

  • breast lump does not go away and grow in size
  • pressing it does not make it move within the breast tissue
  • or it is causing the skin to dimple or to resemble orange peel