I meant to blog about this some time ago and am just now getting to it! There's an exciting research study underway right now that I wanted to tell you all about. I found out about it at the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog.
Ever had a lump in your breast? I have. I was in college and it was right after my mom had been diagnosed and treated for her breast cancer. It scared me to death! Luckily a mammogram/ultrasound confirmed it was nothing to worry about, and I don't even think the lump is there anymore. I am so thankful it happened then and not now, when I am in the middle of breastfeeding my daughter. Because you know what? Most doctors don't like to do mammograms on breastfeeding women. They want them to wean first. That's a heck of a choice, isn't it? Should I prematurely wean my child, or allow something that has even the remotest chance of being malignant to spread? No woman should have to make this decision.
That's where Dr. Kathleen Arcaro comes in. Most of you probably don't realize that when our milk comes out, it takes some cells from our milk ducts with it. These exfoliated epithelial cells can be found in our milk. Dr. Arcaro has proposed that these cells may be able to serve as early indicators of breast cancer, or even determine one's risk for it. Instead of having one's breast squished agonizingly flat between two plates, or having a part of it painfully cut out in a biopsy, we could just pump a little breastmilk and take it to a lab! Exciting, right?
Well, what Dr. Arcaro needs are some subjects for her study. It would involve mailing some of your pumped milk to her lab. If you are breastfeeding and are scheduled for a biopsy, PLEASE email Tanya at motherwearblog(at)gmail(dot)com, or go to her original post (I link to it above) to find Dr. Arcaro's contact info. If you know anyone who may be scheduled for a biopsy, please pass this info along.
And on a completely unrelated note...
There are only a few more hours left to enter to win an Earthlust Bottle!
And to find out how I feel about bottled water, go to my other blog.
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