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Trying to convince my cousin...

November 16th, 2011 at 03:48 pm

My cousin has cancer. I've written about her before a while ago. She had surgery to take out one ovary, did chemo, thought she was cancer free, then they found cancer in the other one.

Since I had my baby in May, I am exclusively breastfeeding him. I went back to work 6 weeks after he was born, and I work 3 days at work and 2 days at home every week. I have to pump for him, and well, I think I'm part Holstein because, damn. I only have to pump once in the morning to get all he needs, so I have quite the freezer stash going.

I read an article saying that a man who had prostate cancer who was a doctor decided to try to drink breastmilk to see if it would do anything to help get rid of the cancer. He tracked his PSA (? I think that is the relevant number) and when he was drinking 2 oz breastmilk from a family friend every day (in a smoothy, to get over the ick factory), the PSA number was steady or went down, but when his donor decided to wean her child, he had to get the milk from a milk bank. When he got the pasteurized stuff, it didn't work, but when he got the stuff barely pasteurized, it did.

I have since done more research, and the reason he even thought of it was that some researchers in Sweden showed that human breast milk kills cancer cells. When it is exposed to an acid, one of the proteins unfolds and becomes a cancer fighting machine.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419132403.htm

I've read other articles saying babies that are formula fed have 9 time more incidences of cancer than breastfed babies. Also, even if breastmilk doesn't kill the cancer, the protein and carbohydrates in breastmilk, along with antibodies and everything else, etc., help those who drink it feel better after chemo.

I went over to her house 2 weeks ago with 32 oz of milk, and started pumping more to replenish. I just have to add one more 15 minute pumping session in the afternoon, and have plenty.

I called her house today, and got ahold of her mom (my aunt). I asked if she needed more, because by now she should be about out. Aunt told me she hadn't tried it yet Frown

I totally understand the ick factor. But if it could work!?! Why not try it?

-------------------
Edited to add:
Here is the original study:
http://www.pnas.org/content/92/17/8064.full.pdf

14 Responses to “Trying to convince my cousin...”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    Yeah, I can see the "ick factor".
    I think you are very kind to read up about this and to offer you're baby's lunch to your cousin.

  2. laura Says:


    Let us not forget the story of "Grapes of Wrath" and Rose of Sharon's act. Smile That was for the literary classic nuts out there.

    I guess having worked inpatient pscyh unit, my "ick" moments have been far more "ickier", because this doesn't seem too awful to me. I would assume anything of possible value might be considered.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, I'm impressed with your production capabilities! I tried to BF exclusively but was supplementing slightly by 4 months and had dried up almost completely after around 7 months. When it got too busy at work for me to pump every 3 hours, I dried right up.

    Heck yes, I'd try anything if I had cancer. Hope she comes around. But at least you tried.

    Laura, NT had to read Grapes of Wrath for college shortly after AA was born. He read the last few pages on lunch break at work, and had to put his head down and sob for a while. The poignancy of that scene with the old man, coupled with high emotion and exhaustion of new-fatherhood, was just too much for him.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Hey, if there is an anti-cancer affect to human milk, wouldn't it likely be true of all milk? Maybe unpasteurized cow's milk would have the same effect.

  5. cptacek Says:

    I can't find where, but I have read that all mammals produce this particular protein, but humans produce it in a quantity much much higher. I want to say 100 times more? But I can't find the article.

  6. cptacek Says:

    I wasn't able to attach a link to the comments, so I added a link to the original study in the post.

  7. Jenn Says:

    I DON'T understand the ick factor. People drink milk from a cow teat everyday but find the thought of human milk disturbing? Something's backward in that thinking....

  8. cptacek Says:

    Cow's milk is pasteurized and homogenized. Seeing the milk separate like it does makes me think it has gone bad, even though I KNOW it is safe in the fridge for at least a week and in the freezer for months. Unless you are drinking fresh cow milk every day, generally, separated milk is bad for you (sour). That is the only thing I can think of.

    If she needed blood or a kidney, I would offer and I think she would accept, so I don't see what the difference is...

  9. patientsaver Says:

    Umm, yeah, but cow's milk is also filled with hormones and antibiotics. One book I read described it as "hormone-filled pus." If that doesn't make you lose your appetite I don't know what will. Smile

  10. cptacek Says:

    I tend to dismiss obvious propaganda like that.

  11. baselle Says:

    Yeah, I don't understand it either, unless there's an ick, or she might consider this her absolutely last hope and what if it didn't work? I know I'd be crushed and I would fear that outcome. Perhaps I'd fear it enough to not try.

    You are a good friend to offer. That'll be some smoothie recipe.

  12. terri77 Says:

    That's very good of you to offer.

  13. baselle Says:

    I was listening to Billy Bragg and I thought of you - you truly are The Milkman of Human Kindness.

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