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Association between maternal breastfeeding and risk of systemic neoplasms of offspring

Ital J Pediatr. 2022 Jun 16;48(1):98. doi: 10.1186/s13052-022-01292-9.


BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding might prevent childhood cancer by stimulating the immune system.

METHODS: The following databases, including PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library, were searched from inception to January 10, 2021.

RESULTS: In dose-dependent manner, there was a statistically significant inverse association between any breastfeeding and the incidence of childhood cancer. There was no evidence that breastfeeding was inversely related to childhood cancer of the skeletal, reproductive, or sensory systems. However, breastfeeding was inversely associated with the incidence of hematological malignancies and cancers of the nervous and urinary systems. Among hematological malignancies, the relationship was significant for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but not for acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (ANLL), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), or non-HL.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidences demonstrated that breastfeeding have a potential protective role in preventing selective childhood cancer growth, especially for ALL, AML, cancer of nervous and urinary systems. This study recommended that breastfeeding be extended for as long as possible or maintained for at least 6 months to prevent selective childhood cancer growth.

PMID:35710389 | DOI:10.1186/s13052-022-01292-9

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