African-American Women: Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer by Breastfeeding

Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:15am

A large collaborative study that combined four epidemiological studies with large numbers of African-American participants has provided new, stronger evidence that women can reduce their risk of aggressive forms of breast cancer by breastfeeding their babies.

The research team involved in this project believes that these findings are strong enough and consistent enough to try to get the word out about this added benefit of breastfeeding, particularly to African-American women who are less likely to breastfeed than other women. Although there are many reasons for this trend, we know there isn’t enough helpful information about breastfeeding for African-American women.

Our hope is that we can get the word out about the added benefit of breastfeeding to young mothers everywhere. Whether a mother breastfeeds her baby for days, weeks, months, or years, breastfeeding promotes the health of both mother and baby and provides important benefits to help prevent many types of disease.

In order to get the word out about these exciting findings, the research team received a small grant from the National Cancer Institute to work on disseminating this new information in a creative way with help from local African-American women. The result of this collaboration is the video below—an honest, powerful message about a topic that we don’t often discuss.

Let’s take charge and empower women everywhere with this new information. It’s always worth giving breastfeeding a try, and the bond created by breastfeeding will last a lifetime.

Special thanks to the women involved in this video, including breast cancer survivors, local breastfeeding advocates, The First Ladies of Western New York (the wives of male senior pastors of local churches in Western New York), young African-American interns and employees at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as the Public Policy Manager of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation.

Read more about the research behind these findings