Is breastfeeding associated with reduced risk of ovarian cancer in mothers?

Last updated: February 20, 2022
Yes. Both studies in this list that examine the question agreed on this conclusion. We identified both studies as literature reviews, which are studies that review and often evaluate the findings of many studies on a question. This gives us more confidence that the answer is correct.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.
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Chart summary of 2 studies examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

All labels of Literature Reviews and source quality are assigned by State of K. All labels of High Quality Source are assigned based on whether the publication in which the article appeared was ranked as Q1 by Scimago Institutions Rankings. Certain well-regarded think tanks are also given this label.

Literature Reviews
Although we recommend you consider all of the studies below, we believe the following studies are literature reviews, which survey and evaluate many studies on this question:

SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 2
Sorted by publication year
1
The preventive effect of breastfeeding against ovarian cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers: A systematic review and meta-analysis
"ObjectiveA recent study showed that even a few months of breastfeeding is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer in the general population. This study aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the significance of the length of the breastfeeding period on ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.MethodsPubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched up to June 1, 2021. We included case-control and cohort studies that contained information on breastfeeding and the risk of ovarian cancer in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Odds ratios (OR) were meta-analytically pooled using a fixed-effects model.ddResultsFive studies, including one cohort study and four case-control studies, were included in this meta-analysis. Of the 14,601 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, the overall pooled OR of ever having performed breastfeeding in patients who had ovarian cancer was 0.767 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.688–0.856) and 0.817 (95% CI, 0.650–1.028) for patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation, respectively. Breastfeeding for >1 year acted as a protective factor in both BRCA1 [OR: 0.787 (95% CI, 0.682–0.907)] and BRCA2 [OR: 0.567 (95% CI, 0.400–0.802)] mutation carriers. No significant heterogeneity was present (I2 = 0%), and the funnel plot was also properly distributed, showing no publication bias.ConclusionsBreastfeeding is a preventive, modifiable factor for ovarian cancer in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Ever having performed breastfeeding was significantly preventive for ovarian cancer in the BRCA1 mutation carriers, however a period of 1 year or more of breastfeeding is required for a reduced ovarian cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers."
AUTHOR
Kyung JinEoh
PUBLISHED
2021 Gynecologic Oncology
Literature Review
High Quality Source
Yes
Yes
2
Breastfeeding and Maternal Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
"AimTo evaluate the effect of breastfeeding on long-term (breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus) and short-term (lactational amenorrhoea, postpartum depression, postpartum weight change) maternal health outcomes.MethodsA systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library and CABI databases. Outcome estimates of odds ratios or relative risks or standardised mean differences were pooled. In cases of heterogeneity, subgroup analysis and meta-regression were explored.ResultsBreastfeeding >12 months was associated with reduced risk of breast and ovarian carcinoma by 26% and 37%, respectively. No conclusive evidence of an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density was found. Breastfeeding was associated with 32% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding were associated with longer duration of amenorrhoea. Shorter duration of breastfeeding was associated with higher risk of postpartum depression. Evidence suggesting an association of breastfeeding with postpartum weight change was lacking.ConclusionThis review supports the hypothesis that breastfeeding is protective against breast and ovarian carcinoma, and exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding increase the duration of lactational amenorrhoea. There is evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, an association between breastfeeding and bone mineral density or maternal depression or postpartum weight change was not evident."
AUTHOR
Ranadip Chowdhury
PUBLISHED
2015 Acta Paediatrica
Literature Review
Yes
Yes