Breastfeeding and Cancer Treatment: Scenarios and Challenges

Aline Fiori Dos Santos Feltrin

Nurse, Professor of the Undergraduate Nursing Course at UNIFIPA, Catanduva-SP, Brazil

Ingrid Alves Jardim

Nurses, UNIFIPA, Catanduva-SP, Brazil

Article Info
Author Info
Figures & Data


The objective is to define the importance of information for mothers and health professionals who are in the area. Inform about care and the importance of breastfeeding for mother and baby, portraying the reduction of diseases and the benefits of increased nutrients and better quality of life for both. Decreased rates of cervical and breast cancer due to rapid contraction of the cervix and increased release of oxytocin during breastfeeding.

Also deal with the emotional impact generated in this period. Report on the effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding, cultural, socioeconomic and vulnerability circumstances. Provide greater attention and information in the prenatal period as a health promotion and prevention strategy.In view of the research that was carried out to group and map data, nine articles were selected with the exclusion of the principle of repetition in front of the descriptors (breastfeeding, oncology and pregnancy).


Breastfeeding; Oncology; Pregnancy


Breastfeeding is extremely important for the life of the mother and baby. It is completely nutritious for health, containing all nutrients, thus being able to meet the food need during the first six months of life. Exclusive breastfeeding for up to the first six months brings several benefits to both, such as promoting a greater bond between them, better nutrient intake to increase resistance, reduces the chance of obesity, better quality of oral development and reduced risk of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, healthy growth, immune functioning 1,2.

For the mother, the importance is the same, as it reduces the risk of breast cancer, releasing hormones during breastfeeding that act on the mammary gland and also helps in better contraction of the uterus during this act between mother and baby. Other benefits are early weight reduction, postpartum amenorrhea, which leads to less uterine bleeding, since there is a greater release of oxytocin that is provoked during the breastfeeding period 1,3.

Cancer also known as neoplasm is a tumor that differs between malignant and benign. They are cells, in different parts of the body, they divide, in a short time becoming aggressive, being able to start this division in epithelial tissues or even in connective tissues. The multiplication of cells can affect several neighboring organs and tissues, given the name of metastasis4.

Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of breast and cervical cancer 2.

Some challenges for mothers arise after being diagnosed, low self-esteem, not being sure of their type of delivery due to complications that may arise and even not fulfilling the mother's wishes. In these cases, psychological treatment will be placed in the routine, in order to address opposing emotions 4.

The side effects due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy also bring several negative consequences in the life and daily life of women, such as nausea, vomiting, side effects, pallor, alopecia, decreased vaginal lubrication, and with that the impact caused is great and of extreme importance to be treated, both the physical and psychological part of the woman 4.

The purpose of treatment is the same in both people, but if diagnosed while breastfeeding, the mother should redouble care, due to the use of medication. Radiotherapy, for example, should be postponed to the postpartum period if possible and chemotherapy, usually systemic, oral or injected (subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous), which reduces or stops the growth of this malignant cell. The same should also be postponed and resumed after postpartum, thus excluding breastfeeding. One should also know the cases of unwanted pregnancies to increase the indicators of exclusive breastfeeding up to the first six months of the baby's life. And, finally, to assess family vulnerability factors to obtain greater and better clarification of treatment and breastfeeding. Therefore, it is extremely important to try to preserve breastfeeding, depending on the treatment, to reduce risks 4,5.

Under Process (Review Completed)

Editorial Information


Article Type

Research Article

Publication history

Received date: January 11, 2022
Accepted date: , 2022
Published date: , 2022


©2022 Aline Fiori Dos Santos Feltrin. Trivedi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Aline Fiori Dos Santos Feltrin. (2022) Breastfeeding and Cancer Treatment: Scenarios and Challenges. OSP Journal of Case Reports 4: JCR-3-14..

Corresponding author

Aline Fiori Dos Santos Feltrin

Nurse, Professor of the Undergraduate Nursing Course at UNIFIPA, Catanduva-SP, Brazil.

No Figures