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Approved research

Adult cancer risk among those who were breast-fed when they were babies

Principal Investigator: Dr TienYu Owen Yang
Approved Research ID: 25417
Approval date: April 1st 2017

Lay summary

It is hypothesised that carcinogenic viruses could be transmitted through breast milk and cause breast cancer. There might be other differences between babies fed with breast milk and with bottle milk that contribute to cancer in adulthood, such growth hormones or gut microorganisms. Whether there is difference in adult cancer risk between babies who are breast-fed and were bottle-fed remains under-investigated. We propose to compare risk of adult cancer risk and related diseases between those who were breast-fed and those who were not breast-fed when they were babies among UK Biobank participants. One purpose of the UK Biobank is to ?support a diverse range of research intended to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and the promotion of health throughout society.? The proposed research aims to understand whether breast feeding is associated with cancer risk of specific sites and risk of related diseases. The results may provide hints to preventable causes of cancer. At the recruitment of the UK Biobank, participants reported a wide range of information, including whether they were breast-fed when they were babies. They also gave consent so that their ongoing history of hospital admissions and cancer diagnosis after recruitment could be obtained for research. Among participants who did not have cancer at the recruitment, we will compare risk of developing newly diagnosed cancer and related diseases between participants who reported they were breast-fed and not breast-fed when they were babies in the UK Biobank. The full cohort is requested for this study.