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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Calling all young mothers

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The odds are in your favor.

In 2003 I experienced a health scare which led to a lumpectomy to remove a pre-cancerous tumor in my left breast. I was only 23. It was a shock to me and my family because I do not have a family history of breast cancer.

Needless to say, this bit of information opened my eyes to the world of breast cancer awareness. I think about it often and my scar is a constant reminder that I could potentially become a victim. Yet another reason for me to live a healthy lifestyle.

I was excited to hear that I may have decreased my odds of developing this horrible disease that effects millions of women. Just my doing four simple things:

  1. Having children

  2. Having children before the age of 28

  3. Nursing children

  4. Having a mom who nursed me

In July 2002, the British medical journal The Lancet (found here) concluded:

  • A woman's risk of breast cancer decreases by 7 percent for every birth she experiences.

  • Add 3 percent more for each year under 28 years old she is when that child is born (I'm going to cheat & count 3 births since technically I was 28 when I had my third).

  • Another 4.3 percent for every twelve months of her life that she breast-feeds.

  • Add to that another 23 percent for whether or not she was personally breast-fed by her mother.
Another study from the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from October 2001 says full-term pregnancy early in reproductive life is protective against breast cancer in women.

I have decreased my chances of developing breast cancer by 63.9%!!!

But there's still that other 34.1%...

Are the odds in your favor?

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