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Women love the fact that breastfeeding can safeguard them from general illnesses such as cold and fever. However, there is a bigger pie to cheer about. Apparently, it has been found that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer as well. Not to forget, breastfeeding is extremely crucial for a baby. It can help him/her to increase immunity and stay away from major diseases.
Facts from major studies:
- A study published in the Lancet, 2002 showed that women who breastfeed for 12 months at a stretch can reduce the chances of breast cancer by a good 4.3 percent compared to the ones who did not breastfeed. The study was performed on over 1,50,000 women and brought enough substance to the theory.
- A study conducted on 60,000 women and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that a woman who has a family history of breast cancer can mitigate the risk of breast cancer, if she breastfed before her menopause.
- A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that women from African ancestry often develop an acute form of cancer known as the estrogen receptor-negative and triple-negative. Breastfeeding can significantly hedge the risk of developing this form of breast cancer.
- A collaborative study published in Annals of Oncology, a famous journal, reported that the chances of developing hormone-receptor negative breast cancer can be negated by 20 percent if a woman breastfed before her menopause.
How does breastfeeding reduce the risk of cancer?
Some researches suggest that women who breastfeed get fewer menstrual cycle compared to the ones who do not. This means low exposure to estrogen for breastfeeding women. It is a common knowledge that estrogen can fuel breast cancer. There is a second theory that suggests that breastfeeding makes the cells of the breasts more resistive to mutation. Therefore, the breast can block cancer.
There is the other factor of lifestyle changes. Women tend to do away with drinking, smoking, eating junk food, and leading an undisciplined life. Once these are given up and replaced with healthy lifestyle practices, the chances of breast cancer automatically come down.
How long should one breastfeed to refrain from breast cancer?
There is no concrete answer to this question. Most studies show that longer the duration of breastfeeding, lower the chances of breast cancer. But, in general, a year of breast feeding is a safe number and can reduce the chance of breast cancer by almost 20 percent, as revealed by many studies. If, however, a woman fails to breastfeed, there is no need to stress. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in surviving breast cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
What should I be doing to releave the pain for two herniated disc's one above and one below a fusion surgery of the cervical spine.
My mother is on ventilator now she has stage 4 breast cancer and she is unable to breathe she is uncouysus now please give me suggestion.
Hello Doctor I have degenerative disc disease after a fall down a flight of stairs in 2013. I sometimes have difficulty in breathing while asleep at night and develop colds frequently, is this due to the lumbar fracture? Also is inability to fill bladder a symptom of disc injury? Thank you for your time Doctor.
The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.
Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-
Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed
The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair
Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques
Lesser painful procedure
Reduced hospitalization period
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.
Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.
People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.
Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.
My mother is 70 years old. As per MRI report, her spinal canal dimensions at intervertebral disc level for L4-5 is 0.14 (cross sectional area). Is surgery needed. Please let me know what further information is needed.
Different methods to treat Disc problems
Hello friends, I am Dr Gaurav Khera. I am an orthopaedic surgeon, doing joint replacements and spine surgeries at the Access healthcare. Now today I will be talking about the lumbar degenerative disc disease. Now it sounds very big, but it is not as complicated as it sounds. It basically is what you people commonly know as a disc disease. So it is a fairly common problem that is seen in our population today. In fact about 30 or 40% of the patients who come to our OPD have lower back pains, some have other disc problems and very commonly seen after 40 years of age and this incidence gradually increases up to 60-70 years of age. The other ecological factors which are associated with this are, first of all smoking, secondly it is, mild to moderate trauma, thirdly its seen in people who lift heavy weights, fourth is obesity, especially central obesity, that is if you have a very heavy waistline.
Now what is Lumbar degenerative disc disease? Now, our spine is composed of multiple bones, which are starting from your neck and they come all the way down to your hip, divided into the cervical, dorsal, lumbar and sacral spine. And between these bones, there are these small pieces of discs, which act as cushions. When your body walks, these act as shock absorbers between your body’s bones. Now this discs, when these come out of their normal place, it gives or presses against the nerves which are passing through these areas and it causes pain. This is what happens in the disc disease. Basically, in the patient it will come as a lower back pain, and this pain will be travelling down to the hip, and it will also be coming down to the legs. Some people complain that as they walk, the pain increases.
They also complain of tingling numbness. They complain that sometimes their fingers or their toes are feeling numb. These are some of the very common symptoms which are being seen. Few people may have only lower back pain, and these are the people who do not have very significant disc disease. Now there are two main causes of the disc disease. First is an inflammatory reaction that occurs in the disc, and second is the micro motion instabilities that occur. Inflammatory reactions may occur as a result of some small traumas which may occur such as when you may injure your back. Such inflammatory reactions occur in the form of small swellings in the body. And micro motion instabilities are when the body ages, the disc which has an outer fibrous thick layer, that degenerates, and as it degenerates, the pulp which is there at the centre, of the discs, tends to degenerate. What I mean is it comes out of its normal space. And as it comes out of the normal place, it comes and tends to press on the nerves and these are the two most common causes.
All disc patients are not to be operated. When we get these patients, the first and foremost investigation that we do is a X-Ray. And if required, we go in for a MRI. Frankly MRI is the known standard to diagnose the disc disease. The findings of a MRI are always coordinated with the clinical findings. Once we have diagnosed that it is a disc problem, we have to establish that what the compression on the nerves is. If the nerve compression is a lot, and if we think that we cannot do anything other than surgery, then we take the patient for a surgery.
If not, we take the patient fro physiotherapy, lifestyle changes and few medications. These medications may carry on for few weeks to few months. And a lot of exercise has to be carried on regularly. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, stoppage of smoking is very important. And if you can achieve this, then your problems are very easily solved. If you have any queries regarding your disc problems or back pains, then you can get in touch with me for the same.
You can reach me in my clinic, which is there in Indrapuri, by the name of Dr Khera’s Wellness Clinic or you can also contact me through Lybrate for the same. Thank You.
I am a student. Usually I used to sit more than 8 hours a day in chair. Now a days I am feeling very much pain on regions of backbone and neck. Is this a chance of disk failure?
Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer, hormone sensitivity, size, grade and stage of cancer. A doctor considers the overall health of the patient and the patient’s individual preference before recommending a treatment plan. While there are many treatments options available for breast cancer, surgery is by far the most popular option for most patients. Along with surgery, some other treatments that a patient undergoes include radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
- Lumpectomy: This is a procedure wherein the surgeon cuts the tumour and removes some of the surrounding healthy tissue in order to ensure that cancer does not spread to the healthy cells after the surgery. This procedure is applicable for small tumours.
- Mastectomy: This is a procedure in which all tissues of the breast are removed. This includes lobules, fatty tissue, ducts, areola, and nipple. In a skin-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast skin, except the nipple and the areola, is preserved, which makes the reconstruction process easier.
- Sentinel node biopsy: Since the sentinel lymph nodes are the first place that cancer is likely to spread, a doctor might suggest a sentinel node biopsy if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. If no trace of a cancer cell is found in the nodes, it is unlikely that any more nodes need to be removed.
- Removal of breasts: Many women who have cancer in one breast often choose to remove both the breasts in order to avoid the risk of cancer spreading. While a family history of breast cancer can greatly increase the chance of breast cancer in a woman, statistics show that most women who have cancer in one breast do not develop cancer in the other one.
- Radiation: This is a process where a high-powered beam of energy is directed at the cancer cells to kill them. This method is often used after a lumpectomy. Radiations are of two types—external beam and brachytherapy. Some side effects of this treatment include fatigue, hair fall, loss of appetite and rashes.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs. This is often recommended by doctors when there is a good chance of the cancer cells spreading to other locations of the body. This form of treatment is often recommended before the surgery to shrink a tumour or restrict the growth of cells.
- Hormone therapy: Hormonal therapy is used to treat cancers that have hormonal sensitivity. They can be used before or after the surgery in order to ensure that cancer does not reoccur. Some of the treatment methods in this section include medication that restricts hormones from getting attached to the cancer cells, medications that restrict the body to produce oestrogen post-menopause and a medication that destroys cancer receptors.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!