Last update Oct. 12, 2022

Maternal Cancer

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T ½ (elimination half-lives). Read the Comment.

Breastfeeding, especially exclusive and/or long-term breastfeeding, reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer in women. (Amitay 2022, Bothou 2022, Stordal 2022, Qiu 2022, Hoyt 2020, Walters 2019, Westerfield 2018, Ma 2018, Anstey 2017, Unar 2017, Zhou 2015, Zhan 2015, CGHF-Lancet 2002)

Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood leukemia, neuroblastoma, and cancer of the urinary system in infants. (Gong 2022, Su 2021, Amitay 2015)

During maternal cancer treatment, breastfeeding must be interrupted due to potentially serious side effects for the infant. Diagnostic procedures and treatment (antimetabolites, hormone inhibitors, radioisotopes) for proliferative breast diseases are contraindicated while breastfeeding, at the moment of administration and for a variable period of time after completion (Consult the file for each specific treatment). Tracers used for sentinel lymph node biopsy (lymphoscintigraphymay require a breastfeeding interruption of up to 24 hours; during this time, milk should be expressed and discarded to maintain milk production. (Johnson 2020)

Abrupt weaning can be psychologically traumatic for both the mother and the infant (Pistilli 2013). If the mother wishes, the production of milk can be maintained by regularly expressing milk from the breast, being able to return to breastfeeding in between cycles, in the periods in which no significant traces of the drug remain in the milk (Damoiseaux 2022, Anderson 2016), or at the end of the treatment. (Pistilli 2013)

Pharmacokinetics show that after 3 elimination half-lives (T½) 87.5% of the drug is eliminated from the body; after 4 T½ it is 94%, after 5 T½, 96.9%, after 6 T½, 98.4% and after 7 T½ it is 99%. From 7 T½ the plasmatic concentrations of drug in the body are negligible. In general, a period of at least five half-lives can be considered a safe waiting period before breastfeeding again (Anderson 2016). When it is possible to do so, milk detections of each patient to determine the total elimination of the drug would be the best indicator to resume breastfeeding between two cycles of chemotherapy.

After cancer treatment, breastfeeding is possible (Johnson 2019). Some chemotherapeutic agents with an antibiotic effect can alter the composition of the microbiota (bacterial set or bacterial flora) of the milk and the concentration of some of its components (Urbaniak 2014). This possibly occurs temporarily with subsequent recovery, although no harmful effects are assumed or have been reported in breastfed infants.

Women undergoing chemotherapy during pregnancy have lower rates of breastfeeding due to difficulties in breastfeeding or have reduced breast milk production (Johnson 2020, Stopenski 2017), needing more support to achieve it.

Given the strong evidence that exists regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for the development of babies and the health of mothers, it is advisable to evaluate the risk-benefit of any maternal treatment, including chemotherapy, individually advising each mother who wishes to continue with breastfeeding. (Koren 2013)

In BREAST CANCER, when there is no residual tumor, breastfeeding can be achieved, either on the healthy or treated breast (Bhurosy 2021, Johnson 2020, Peccatori 2020, Linkeviciute 2020, Cardoso 2012, Gorman2009), whenever the patient has undergone conservative treatment. However, whether surgery or radiation is used, the latter instance may lead to less milk production (Johnson 2020), but always remaining the possibility of successful breastfeeding with one breast only.

About 50% of women whose breast was irradiated may produce milk on that breast but only one in four women may breastfeed on it. Mechanical or manual removal of milk and/or formula supplementation may be required. Breast irradiation induces to less milk production, although nutritionally adequate, the infant may refuse it because of more sodium content than on the non-radiated breast.

After radical and total mastectomy, there is not possibility to breastfeed in the future because of lacking to conservation of breast tissue, nipple or both. Only after partial subcutaneous mastectomy with preservation of part of breast tissue, breastfeeding may be feasible. Breastfeeding after breast cancer poses no danger to the mother nor the child, either if it is from the healthy breast or not. (Cardoso 2012, de Bree 2010, Azim 2010 y 2009, Hickey 2009, Bercovich 2009)

The mother will require appropriate information and assistance along with professional and family support. Breastfeeding is often more difficult when it must be done on one breast only, with a lot of emotional and physical stress together with frustration if exclusive breastfeeding is not achieved. You can read the personal testimony of a mother in E.D.- LactApp.

Prestigious Medical and Oncology Societies offer support to mothers who want to breastfeed after such an ordeal (Johnson 2020, Cardoso 2012, Camune 2007). Nursing mothers diagnosed with breast cancer who wish to breastfeed during breastfeeding or once cured or in the next lactation period are a vulnerable population that requires clinical support from oncologic multidisciplinary teams and lactation experts.(Bhurosy 2021, Linkeviciute 2020, Johnson 2019)


See below the information of this related product:


See below the information of this related group:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Maternal Cancer is also known as


Group

Maternal Cancer belongs to this group or family:

References

  1. Gong QQ, Quan DD, Guo C, Zhang C, Zhang ZJ. Association between maternal breastfeeding and risk of systemic neoplasms of offspring. Ital J Pediatr. 2022 Jun 16;48(1):98. Consulted on Oct. 11, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Bothou A, Zervoudis S, Iliadou M, Pappou P, Iatrakis G, Tsatsaris G, Peitsidis P, Gerende A, Chalkidou A, Anthoulaki X, Nikolettos N, Tsikouras P. Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Risk: Our Experience and Mini-review of the Literature. Mater Sociomed. 2022 Mar;34(1):28-32. Consulted on Oct. 11, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Qiu R, Zhong Y, Hu M, Wu B. Breastfeeding and Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Comput Math Methods Med. 2022 Jan 28;2022:8500910. Consulted on Oct. 11, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. Stordal B. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer: A call for action in high-income countries with low rates of breastfeeding. Cancer Med. 2022 Sep 26. Consulted on Oct. 11, 2022 Abstract
  5. Amitay EL, Niedermaier T, Alwers E, Chang-Claude J, Hoffmeister M, Brenner H. Reproductive Factors and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2022 Jul 1;6(4). pii: pkac042. Consulted on Oct. 11, 2022 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  6. Damoiseaux D, Calpe S, Rosing H, Beijnen JH, Huitema ADR, Lok C, Dorlo TPC, Amant F. Presence of Five Chemotherapeutic Drugs in Breast Milk as a Guide for the Safe Use of Chemotherapy During Breastfeeding: Results From a Case Series. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Apr 29. Consulted on July 16, 2022 Abstract
  7. Su Q, Sun X, Zhu L, Yan Q, Zheng P, Mao Y, Ye D. Breastfeeding and the risk of childhood cancer: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. BMC Med. 2021 Apr 13;19(1):90. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  8. Bhurosy T, Niu Z, Heckman CJ. Breastfeeding is Possible: A Systematic Review on the Feasibility and Challenges of Breastfeeding Among Breast Cancer Survivors of Reproductive Age. Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Jul;28(7):3723-3735. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  9. Linkeviciute A, Notarangelo M, Buonomo B, Bellettini G, Peccatori FA. Breastfeeding After Breast Cancer: Feasibility, Safety, and Ethical Perspectives. J Hum Lact. 2020 Feb;36(1):40-43. Abstract
  10. Johnson HM, Mitchell KB; Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.. ABM Clinical Protocol #34: Breast Cancer and Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2020 Jul;15(7):429-434. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Hoyt-Austin A, Dove MS, Abrahão R, Kair LR, Schwarz EB. Awareness That Breastfeeding Reduces Breast Cancer Risk: 2015-2017 National Survey of Family Growth. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Dec;136(6):1154-1156. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  12. Peccatori FA, Migliavacca Zucchetti B, Buonomo B, Bellettini G, Codacci-Pisanelli G, Notarangelo M. Lactation during and after Breast Cancer. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1252:159-163. Abstract
  13. Johnson HM, Mitchell KB. Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: Managing Lactation in Survivors and Women with a New Diagnosis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2019 Jul 24. Abstract
  14. Walters DD, Phan LTH, Mathisen R. The cost of not breastfeeding: global results from a new tool. Health Policy Plan. 2019 Jul 1;34(6):407-417. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  15. Ma X, Zhao LG, Sun JW, Yang Y, Zheng JL, Gao J, Xiang YB. Association between breastfeeding and risk of endometrial cancer: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2018 Mar;27(2):144-151. Abstract
  16. Westerfield KL, Koenig K, Oh R. Breastfeeding: Common Questions and Answers. Am Fam Physician. 2018 Sep 15;98(6):368-373. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  17. E.D. LactApp. MI testimonio con el cáncer y la lactancia. LactApp. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Stopenski S, Aslam A, Zhang X, Cardonick E. After Chemotherapy Treatment for Maternal Cancer During Pregnancy, Is Breastfeeding Possible? Breastfeed Med. 2017 Mar;12:91-97. Abstract
  19. Unar-Munguía M, Torres-Mejía G, Colchero MA, González de Cosío T. Breastfeeding Mode and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. J Hum Lact. 2017 May;33(2):422-434. Abstract
  20. Anstey EH, Shoemaker ML, Barrera CM, O'Neil ME, Verma AB, Holman DM. Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction: Implications for Black Mothers. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Sep;53(3S1):S40-S46. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  21. Anderson PO. Cancer Chemotherapy. Breastfeed Med. 2016 May;11:164-5. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  22. Zhan B, Liu X, Li F, Zhang D. Breastfeeding and the incidence of endometrial cancer: A meta-analysis. Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 10;6(35):38398-409. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  23. Zhou Y, Chen J, Li Q, Huang W, Lan H, Jiang H. Association between breastfeeding and breast cancer risk: evidence from a meta-analysis. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Apr;10(3):175-82. Abstract
  24. Amitay EL, Keinan-Boker L. Breastfeeding and Childhood Leukemia Incidence: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review. JAMA Pediatr. 2015 Jun;169(6):e151025. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  25. Urbaniak C, McMillan A, Angelini M, Gloor GB, Sumarah M, Burton JP, Reid G. Effect of chemotherapy on the microbiota and metabolome of human milk, a case report. Microbiome. 2014 Jul 11;2:24. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  26. Leal SC, Stuart SR, Carvalho Hde A. Breast irradiation and lactation: a review. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2013 Abstract
  27. Lawrence RM. Circumstances when breastfeeding is contraindicated. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):295-318. Abstract
  28. Koren G, Carey N, Gagnon R, Maxwell C, Nulman I, Senikas V; Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Cancer chemotherapy and pregnancy. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Mar;35(3):263-278. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  29. Pistilli B, Bellettini G, Giovannetti E, Codacci-Pisanelli G, Azim HA Jr, Benedetti G, Sarno MA, Peccatori FA. Chemotherapy, targeted agents, antiemetics and growth-factors in human milk: how should we counsel cancer patients about breastfeeding? Cancer Treat Rev. 2013 May;39(3):207-11. Abstract
  30. Cardoso F, Loibl S, Pagani O, Graziottin A, Panizza P, Martincich L, Gentilini O, Peccatori F, Fourquet A, Delaloge S, Marotti L, Penault-Llorca F, Kotti-Kitromilidou AM, Rodger A, Harbeck N; European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists. The European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists recommendations for the management of young women with breast cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  31. Azim HA Jr, Bellettini G, Liptrott SJ, Armeni ME, Dell'Acqua V, Torti F, Di Nubila B, Galimberti V, Peccatori F. Breastfeeding in breast cancer survivors: pattern, behaviour and effect on breast cancer outcome. Breast. 2010 Abstract
  32. de Bree E, Makrigiannakis A, Askoxylakis J, Melissas J, Tsiftsis DD. Pregnancy after breast cancer. A comprehensive review. J Surg Oncol. 2010 Abstract
  33. Azim HA Jr, Bellettini G, Gelber S, Peccatori FA. Breast-feeding after breast cancer: if you wish, madam. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Abstract
  34. Bercovich D, Goodman G. Pregnancy and lactation after breast cancer elevate plasma prolactin, do not shorten and may prolong survival. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Abstract
  35. Hickey M, Peate M, Saunders CM, Friedlander M. Breast cancer in young women and its impact on reproductive function. Hum Reprod Update. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  36. Gorman JR, Usita PM, Madlensky L, Pierce JP. A qualitative investigation of breast cancer survivors' experiences with breastfeeding. J Cancer Surviv. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  37. Camune B, Gabzdyl E. Breast-feeding after breast cancer in childbearing women. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2007 Abstract
  38. Connell S, Patterson C, Newman B. A qualitative analysis of reproductive issues raised by young Australian women with breast cancer. Health Care Women Int. 2006 Abstract
  39. Moran MS, Colasanto JM, Haffty BG, Wilson LD, Lund MW, Higgins SA. Effects of breast-conserving therapy on lactation after pregnancy. Cancer J. 2005 Abstract
  40. Zimpelmann A, Kaufmann M. [Breastfeeding nursing after breast surgery]. Zentralbl Gynakol. 2002 Abstract
  41. Helewa M, Lévesque P, Provencher D, Lea RH, Rosolowich V, Shapiro HM; Breast Disease Committee and Executive Committeee and Council, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Breast cancer, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2002 Abstract
  42. Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer.. Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50302 women with breast cancer and 96973 women without the disease. Lancet. 2002 Jul 20;360(9328):187-95. Abstract
  43. Guix B, Tello JI, Finestres F, Palma C, Martínez A. Lactation after conservative treatment for breast cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Abstract
  44. Collichio FA, Agnello R, Staltzer J. Pregnancy after breast cancer: from psychosocial issues through conception. Oncology (Williston Park). 1998 Abstract
  45. Wobbes T. Effect of a breast saving procedure on lactation. Eur J Surg. 1996 Abstract
  46. Tralins AH. Lactation after conservative breast surgery combined with radiation therapy. Am J Clin Oncol. 1995 Abstract
  47. Kudaĭbergenov TK, Nurmakova SI, Kudaĭvergenova RZ. [A favorable course of labor and lactation in a patient after a mastectomy for breast sarcoma]. Klin Khir. 1994 Abstract
  48. Higgins S, Haffty BG. Pregnancy and lactation after breast-conserving therapy for early stage breast cancer. Cancer. 1994 Abstract
  49. Dow KH, Harris JR, Roy C. Pregnancy after breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy for breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1994 Abstract
  50. Soderstrom B. Helping the woman who has had breast surgery: a literature review. J Hum Lact. 1993 Abstract
  51. Neifert M. Breastfeeding after breast surgical procedure or breast cancer. NAACOGS Clin Issu Perinat Womens Health Nurs. 1992 Abstract
  52. Robbins MJ. Breast-feeding in the face of adversity. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 1992 Abstract
  53. Boyce KM. Case study: breast-feeding following mastectomy. Midwives Chron. 1991 Abstract
  54. Varsos G, Yahalom J. Lactation following conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer. J Surg Oncol. 1991 Abstract
  55. Rodger A, Corbett PJ, Chetty U. Lactation after breast conserving therapy, including radiation therapy, for early breast cancer. Radiother Oncol. 1989 Abstract
  56. Green JP. Post-irradiation lactation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1989 Abstract
  57. David FC. Lactation following primary radiation therapy for carcinoma of the breast. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1985 Abstract

Total visits

31,342

Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at elactancia.org@gmail.com

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2015 of United States of America

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM