The prevention of breast cancer has been strongly linked to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding, prompting a top cancer expert to predict that a vaccine could mimic such safeguards, reports the Guardian. The researcher called for increased efforts to prevent breast cancer in addition to treating it, noting that the number of new diagnoses continues to climb even as death rates drop.
Statistics have shown that the more children a woman has and the more time she spends breastfeeding, the less likely she is to develop breast cancer. The hormone prolactin—which enables lactation—may be the key. Preventative research has already led to a vaccine for cervical cancer after it was discovered that most cases are caused by the human papilloma virus.