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Women who have survived childhood cancer have been advised to breastfeed it possible.

Research conducted by St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, found that this can offset some of the negative health effects of their earlier cancer treatment.

Published in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship, the study found that an estimated one in every 640 young adults will be a survivor of childhood cancer.

In fact, around 80 per cent of children and adolescents treated with modern cancer therapies now survive thanks to advancements in medicine.

However, the scientists found that mothers can help improve their own health by breastfeeding later in life.

This will positively influence bone mineral density, metabolic syndrome risk factors, secondary tumors and cardiovascular disease.

Susan Ogg who lead the research commented: "Alongside advice to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, abstain from smoking, use suitable sun protection, practice safe sex and take part in regular physical activity, women who have survived childhood cancer and are physically able to breastfeed, should be actively encouraged to do so to help protect them against the many lasting effects of cancer treatment."

 

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