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Cancer

Breast Cancer and Breast Feeding

04/28/2009

Question:

I have a question with regards to the spread of cancer from a breast-feeding woman with cancer to her baby. If a woman has breast cancer and she breast-feeds her child, will the child get cancer from her? If not, why?

Answer:

There is no risk to a breast-fed baby. Cells cannot be transmitted because they are foreign cells from another person. The baby's immune system would destroy the cells. Also, cells that go into the stomach cannot survive.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University