Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Breast Cancer

Breastfeeding with Cancer

04/28/2010

Question:

Why is it safe to breastfeed when you have cancer? Why doesn`t the cancer infect the milk?

Answer:

Cancer cells are not transferred to another person because even the immune system of infants rejects and eliminates cells from another person. Live cells would not survive and be carried into the body through the g.i. tract, either. However, many drugs used for cancer treatment are transferred to breast milk and therefore, many patients with cancer cannot breast feed for that reason. Each individual should check with their doctor whether breast feeding is safe if there is an active cancer issue.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

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