Having kids over the age of 30 may prevent cancer!
A recent study is reporting that women who bear kids over the age of 30 are at decreased risk for endometrial cancer--the cancer that affects the lining of the uterus and that, according to the National Cancer Institute, will kill about 8,000 women this year (out of 47,000 that will be diagnosed with this disease).
Basically, the study looked at a cross-section of more than 8,000 women from 17 other studies and found evidence to suggest that women who gave birth over the age of 40 were 44% less likely to be affected by this cancer than those who gave birth at or before 25 years old. Women who gave birth between 35 and 39 years were 32% less likely and those between 30 and 34 when giving birth to their last baby between 30 and 34 were 17% less likely.
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And the benefits remained as the subjects got older, according to one of the authors, Wendy Setiawan, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. She also speculates that these positive effects could be due to pregnancy hormone levels and their effectiveness in preventing cancer at older ages and also that the body may rid itself of bad, cancer-causing uterine cells during childbirth.
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Well, whatever the cause of these positive results, this is great news for women who, like me, have put off starting a family until well into our 30's and even 40's. True there are risks associated with having kids older, like low birth-weight, the risk of Down syndrome, and other complications for both mom and fetus. But for those of us who have chosen to focus on our careers and have our babies in our thirties, these statistics at least temper the fear.
I cannot tell you how many times I agonized over the fact that I got pregnant at thirty…something (cough, cough) and always just had all the dangers present in the back of my mind, especially with all the tests that doctors recommend if you're older than a certain age. Thankfully Sebastian is healthy, happy, and gorgeous. And now, I can also count on this added benefit to having waited!
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