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  • Posted: 10/19/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

Columbia University study shows breastfeeding reduced risk for ER/PR-negative breast cancer

Breast-feeding reduces the risk for estrogen receptor-negative and progesterone receptor-negative breast cancer, according to a study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Researchers examined the association between reproductive risk factors, such as the number of children a woman delivers, breast-feeding and oral contraceptive use, and found an increased risk for estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor- (ER/PR) negative breast cancer in women who do not breast-feed. The results also indicated that having three or more children without breast-feeding was associated with an increased risk for ER/PR-negative breast cancer. ER/PR-negative breast cancer often affects younger women and has a poor prognosis.

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.