For every month child fed formula - cancer risk increases 16%

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
For every month child fed formula - cancer risk increases 16%
4
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 1:32pm

Prolonging the formula feeding and delaying the introduction to solid foods may put the child at risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia, finds a study.

"For every month that a child was fed formula, taking into account other feeding practices, we found that the risk for this type of cancer was higher," said Jeremy Schraw, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, who presented the findings of an epidemiological study at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held here Oct. 16-19, 2012. "If a baby is fed only formula, he or she will not be getting any immune factors from the mother, which could be leading to this greater risk."

Schraw and colleagues surveyed 284 controls and 142 children from the Texas Children's Cancer Center and the National Children's Study in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, who had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Compared with controls, children diagnosed with ALL started solid foods significantly later, more of their mothers smoked during pregnancy and they had a longer duration of formula feeding.

Researchers found that the risk for developing ALL increased by 16 percent for every month of formula feeding. In addition, for each month the introduction of solid foods was delayed, the risk increased by 14 percent.

"One explanation for this co-risk may be that it's the same effect being picked up twice," said Schraw. "Children being given solid foods later may be receiving formula longer." Future research should address the factors influencing prolonged formula feeding and delay in solid food introduction, according to the researchers.

Read more: Prolonged Feeding of Infant Formula Raises Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Risk | Medindia http://www.medindia.net/news/prolonged-feeding-of-infant-formula-raises-acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-risk-108726-1.htm

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

Schraw and colleagues surveyed 284 controls and 142 children from the Texas Children's Cancer Center and the National Children's Study in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, who had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

To me that's too small a study group, and very localized. If it was based on per state, province and territory of continental North America, I'd treat it more seriously.

Gail

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

True - it is a small study. I wonder if they will be doing a larger study, based on the results of this study?

Community Leader
Registered: 04-18-2003

I hope so. I know some women who do a little bit of formula feeding in addition to breastfeeding, or leave a small bottle of formula in case the pumped breastmilk runs out. I want women to breastfeed because it's an informed decision that is done with love, not something grudgingly done out of fear of possible cancer.

Gail

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

In my family, my mom and all 3 of her sisters got breast cancer, and many of my cousins and aunts, my sister, my niece and my grandfather have/had some form of cancer.

I am so grateful that simply by choosing to breastfeed my sons, I helped to lower our risk of getting cancer. By how much? There is no way to truly know, but every percentage point is valuable to me!