AACR Logo A study conducted in 2009 unfolded breastfeeding as an effective way to prevent the return of multilple sclerosis. Now, according to a study conducted by Boston University scientists, African-American women apparently face a greater chance of developing hormone receptor-negative breast cancer which is presumably very difficult to treat. Nevertheless, breast feeding seems to be one way of reducing this risk.

The analysis is a part of the Black Women’s Health Study, which inspected nearly 59,000 African-American women since 1995. In the period between 1995 and 2009, the scientists noted around 457 instances of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and 318 women with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer among those who enrolled for the study.

“African-American women are more likely to have had a greater number of full-term births and less likely to have breast-fed their babies. This study shows a clear link between that and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer,” remarked Julie Palmer, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.

Women with 2 or more kids seemingly had a 50 fold growing risk of hormone-negative breast cancer. However, women breast-feeding their children apparently did not encounter an elevated risk. As far as estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer was concerned, a higher birth rate was supposedly linked to a reduced risk and breast-feeding did not have any influence. According to Palmer, high childbirth in the absence of breast-feeding appears to be a high risk factor for hormone receptor-negative breast cancer. The latter is associated with a higher death rate and is more prevalent in African-American women.

The study is published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.