The world we live in has metamorphosed from being natural to artificial. This change has brought with it a new lifestyle and ways of maintaining a good body shape by mothers some of which have negative health outcomes. For instance, civilization and its newly adopted lifestyle has made nursing mothers without any medically confirmed indication to substitute natural breastfeeding with formula feed with justification such as avoidance of breast sagging etc. being blinded that one of the negative health outcomes of such lifestyle is ovarian cancer.

What is Ovary?

An ovary is a vital organ found in the female mammal reproductive system that is responsible for egg production. This egg when released travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it will be fertilized by a sperm. Invariable for fertilization to occur an egg must be produced, without proper functioning of the ovary, fertilization cannot occur hence difficulty in getting pregnant. Ovarian cancer is one of the conditions that are associated with the ovary that could sabotage its effective functioning.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a condition that results from the inability of the healthy cells of the ovaries to regenerate, function and mature normally. The proper cycle of cell formation and death is obstructed and the newly altered cancer cells begin to increase rapidly and the normal functioning of the cells as an integral part of the body is denied.

Breastfeeding versus Formula feeding

Breastfeeding means feeding new born with breast milk for growth, nutrition and immune system strengthening while formula feeding popularly known as bottle-feeding are commercially prepared infant formulas which are nutritious alternatives to breast milk, and even contain some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.

How does lifestyle triggers ovarian cancer

Breastfeeding significantly and positively reduces ovarian cancer occurrences as it decreases lifetime ovulation thus reducing the chance of ovarian cancer hence, not breastfeeding increases a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer.

Women who do not breastfeed develop ovarian cancer with poor health outcomes. Breastfeeding has a protective benefits or effect on developing ovarian cancer but this may be attributed to the partial inhibition of ovulation from elevated follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin levels and lower luteinizing hormone levels in lactating women. Most women do not want to breastfeed their baby because of the new lifestyle they have acquired, a lifestyle of keeping their body in shape, competitive fashion style or a habit of wanting their breast to remain perky even after birth. Some went to the extent of delaying marriage just to remain perky and the return effect is ovarian cancer. Using natural breast milk is not only beneficial to the baby but also to the mother.

Benefits of breastfeeding baby to the mother

There is a need to also lay emphasis on the benefits of breastfeeding. Among other benefits the following are the benefits of breastfeeding to the mother;

1. Breastfeeding mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than those who do not breastfeed.

2. Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

3. Breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk of obesity and hypertension.

4. The rapid retention of uterus to the normal size and the reduction of blood loss.

5. Breastfeeding has psychological benefits such as increased self-confidence and a stronger connectedness between the mother and the babies.

6. There is the releases of oxytocin and prolactin during breastfeeding.

7.  Spacing births, breastfeeding allows the mother to recuperate before she conceives again.

8. Helps mother get needed rest by requiring that she sit or lie down with the baby every few hours to feed. 

Conclusion

It is significant to note that not all lifestyles have a positive effect on one’s health. Formula feeding should be avoided at all cost to curb the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Health care providers should educate on exclusive breastfeeding and its benefits during antenatal and post-natal service. It is also right to probe expectant mothers on their perception about formula feed.  

REFERENCES
Kuusisto KM, Bebel A, Vihinen M, Schleutker J, Sallinen SL (2011). “Screening for BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, BRIP1, RAD50, and CDH1 mutations in high-risk Finnish BRCA1/2-founder mutation-negative breast and/or ovarian cancer individuals”. Breast Cancer Res. 13 (1): R20. doi:10.1186/bcr2832PMC 3109589PMID 21356067.

 Kyriakidis I, Papaioannidou P (2016). “Estrogen receptor beta and ovarian cancer: a key to pathogenesis and response to therapy”. Arch GynecolOncol. 293 (6): 1161–8. doi:10.1007/s00404-016-4027-8PMID 26861465.

Manson JE, Bassuk SS (2012). “The Menopause Transition and Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy”. In Longo DL, Kasper DL, Jameson JL, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Loscalzo J (eds.). Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine(18th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-174889-6.

 Norquist BM, Harrell MI, Brady MF, Walsh T, Lee MK, Gulsuner S, Bernards SS, Casadei S, Yi Q, Burger RA, Chan JK, Davidson SA, Mannel RS, DiSilvestro PA, Lankes HA, Ramirez NC, King MC, Swisher EM, Birrer MJ (2015). “Inherited mutations in women With ovarian carcinoma”. JAMA Oncol. 30 (4): 1–9. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5495PMC 4845939PMID 26720728.

 Ovarian Cancer Prevention (PDQ®)”National Cancer Institute. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2013-12-30

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