Could Brestfeeding , Birth Control Pills Reduce Risk of Ovarian Cancer?


Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are known to increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers. But a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that breastfeeding, taking oral contraceptives and tubal ligation may reduce ovarian cancer risk for women with these mutations.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for producing tumor suppressor proteins in the body. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and, in turn, make sure a cell’s genetic material is stable.

A mutation or alteration in either of these genes means proteins are not produced or are impaired; therefore damaged DNA may not be repaired correctly. This can lead to further genetic impairments in cells, which can lead to cancer development.

Women who inherit mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are much more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancers .

According to the National Cancer Institute, mutations in either gene account for approximately 15% of all ovarian cancers. Around 39% of women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation and 11-17% who inherit a BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by the age of 70.

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