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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures

Breast Cancer During Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding After Breast Cancer

  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

Breast cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor during reproductive age. Around 1/10000 nursing mothers are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. In this rare and difficult situation, patients and healthcare providers should be knowledgeable about the prognostic and practical implications of such an event. Chemotherapy may pass into the milk and breastfeeding is usually contraindicated during chemotherapy. Weaning should be gradual, to avoid breast inflammation and mastitis. A thorough psychological support should be given to the nursing mother to help her into the oncological trajectory.
On the other hand, the number of young breast cancer survivors is increasing and more and more patients enquire about the possibility of subsequent pregnancies and breastfeeding. The breast treated with conservative surgery and subsequent radiation is less responsive to hormonal stimulation, with reduced glandular hyperplasia and hypertrophy. Milk production is usually decreased in the previously affected breast and surgery may affect duct integrity. Nonetheless, each breast has the capability to self regulate milk production according to the baby’s suckling habits, and many evidences support the notion that one breast is enough. Specific education programs should focus on adequate baby positioning, correct latching and reinforcement of the advantages of on demand breastfeeding. Data from our group demonstrate the feasibility of breastfeeding after breast cancer, but qualified lactation counseling to support patients and caregivers is needed.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Explain how breast cancer occurring during breastfeeding should be treated;

Objective 2: Demonstrate how to counsel mothers with a previous breast cancer diagnosis about breastfeeding;

Objective 3: Use the appropriate techniques of gradual weaning and breastfeeding support when one breast only can be used;

Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits: 1  |  Viewing Time: 2 Weeks
Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 6  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks