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To donate breast milk to a cancer sufferer?

(9 Posts)
Littlecatbigpanther Thu 25-Feb-16 23:03:23

Please be kind as this may be a crazy idea, but a relative who has terminal cancer would like to be given donated milk alongside conventional treatment.

I am bf my 1 yo, but can express every day to provide the milk. I know that views on this can vary from breast milk being harmless/a placebo to the occasional study that seems to show the milk is effective against cancer. I do find the idea a bit uncomfortable as it is a relative, but as it is someone I love then I'm willing to pass on the expressed milk as they would like it.

Apparently the oncologist said it could be effective (?!) but I'm not sure whether there was confusion over it having protective qualities for baby (proven I think) whereas this would be for an adult (not proven I think).

ethelb Thu 25-Feb-16 23:06:17

Its worth a go if you are comfortable with it and go through proper routes.

However, is it effective for adult cancer? I would assume these studies (if there are any) were done on children.

Littlecatbigpanther Thu 25-Feb-16 23:08:09

Thanks, it would be a case of me providing daily bottles to the cancer sufferer, no medical professionals involved.

Littlecatbigpanther Thu 25-Feb-16 23:09:35

I don't think that there's any proof that it is effective in adults, just babies.

VimFuego101 Thu 25-Feb-16 23:10:30

It's the baby's saliva, from direct contact with the nipple, that tells the mother what antibodies to make, I think. So I'm not sure how effective it would be in this case. Can't see any harm in it though.

fuzzpig Thu 25-Feb-16 23:10:54

If you're happy then no reason why not IMO, can't do any harm can it. I think it's a lovely kind thing for you to do.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 25-Feb-16 23:11:27

do it.

if there is even a remote chance it could help then where's the harm.

it's certainly not going to harm in any way and nor is it replacing medical treatment.

go for it. medicine is amazing but if this makes him.more.hopeful and more determined then that can only be a good thing. .that's not to say that people who don't get better, did so by being negative, but a positive attitude and reduction in stress can help. if I could give that to someone I would

TowerRavenSeven Thu 25-Feb-16 23:12:19

Being a cancer survivor I think it would be an awesome thing to do IF you wanted to and they thought it could help. Personally though I myself would do to a milk bank if I could, I don't think I'd ask a relative. As a mum myself (couldn't breastfeed for my cancer reason) though I don't know how I'd feel if someone asked me to do it. Anyway, Yanbu to explore it IF you are comfortable with it!

Kefybaby Thu 25-Feb-16 23:13:09

A bit of your time is the most you will lose. It's worth doing for someone you love, even if it is to only offer hope and support (if the effectiveness is not proven).
How would you feel long term knowing you have said no?

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