Week 34 of pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk: study

Kosovan girls dressed as ballet dancers hold roses and perform in front of the National Theatre on October 10, 2018 during the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness on breast cancer and to promote prevention. (AFP)
Updated 24 October 2018

Week 34 of pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk: study

  • The link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk reduction is well known among medical researchers, who have suggested breast cells fundamentally alter their composition when a woman first falls pregnant and they prepare to produce milk

PARIS: Women’s bodies undergo a “striking” change during a specific week of pregnancy that can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer later in life, scientists said Tuesday.
Previous research has highlighted how women under the age of 30 can reduce their risk of contracting breast cancer later in life by having a baby.
But a new study by experts in Denmark and Norway claims to have identified the precise week of pregnancy when the change occurs.
“If you deliver a child at week 33 you get the child, which is great, but you don’t get the bonus of having a lower risk of breast cancer for the rest of your life,” Mads Melbye, from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Clinical Medicine and lead study author, told AFP.
“It’s a very distinct change in risk when you go from week 33 to week 34.”
A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks and a baby born before 37 weeks is considered premature.
Melbye and his team studied a huge database of nearly four million women in Denmark and Norway stretching back almost 40 years.
It listed the age at which each of them gave birth, how far into a pregnancy each birth occurred and whether or not they contracted breast cancer later in life.
They found that women who gave birth after 34 weeks had an average 13.6 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who had no children.
For pregnancies that ended a week earlier, the reduction in risk — while still there — was only 2.4 percent.
Melbye said what changes in women during this vital week of gestation remains a mystery.
“We don’t know what that is, but knowing that you have to get to this point of the pregnancy makes it much easier for researchers to focus because we have to know what happens around that week to understand this,” he said.
He said it may be possible a woman’s body sends a signal after 34 weeks of pregnancy to boost immunity against environmental causes of breast cancer.
“To the best of our knowledge it must have something to do with a specific biological effect that the cells reach at 34 weeks.”

The link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk reduction is well known among medical researchers, who have suggested breast cells fundamentally alter their composition when a woman first falls pregnant and they prepare to produce milk.
But Melbye and his team found that a second or third pregnancy of at least 34 weeks reduced the risk of breast cancer even further.
This held true even in women who experienced stillbirths after 34 weeks, meaning the change is unlikely to be linked to breastfeeding.
Authors of the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, said it would allow scientists to better probe the link between pregnancy and breast cancer risk by focusing on a narrow window during which the “striking” change occurs.
Although the reduction of risk is dramatic, there’s a catch: researchers found that the additional protection against breast cancer only comes in women under 30.
“It’s not only the first childbirth; every childbirth has its own reduction in breast cancer risk but there’s a trick to this: You have to have your kids before you turn 29,” said Melbye.
“Because after that age there’s no extra bonus in breast cancer risk (reduction).”


Kemetic yoga breathes new life into Egyptian tourism

Updated 18 October 2019

Kemetic yoga breathes new life into Egyptian tourism

  • Egyptian temples have wall carvings which play a major role in the development of Kemitic yoga
  • Kemetic yoga is a blend of physical movements, meditation and controlled breathing

CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with CNN to produce and air a short film about Kemetic yoga to highlight wellness tourism in the country.

Kemetic yoga is a blend of physical movements, meditation and controlled breathing.

The three-minute film was shot in Luxor and follows Sarah Wesley, a certified Kemetic yoga instructor.

“The origins of Kemetic yoga started in the land called Kemit and Kemit is the ancient name of Egypt,” Wesley said.

Egyptian temples have wall carvings which play a major role in the development of Kemitic yoga, along with the study and interpretations of hieroglyphic texts on the subject.

Wesley practices yoga mainly at Karnak Temple, which she described as being full of powerful and peaceful energy.

The practice mainly targets people who want to discover more about themselves and those who wish to expand their consciousness.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Breathing is a significant aspect in all forms of yoga but with Kemetic yoga it is enhanced and highlighted. It is also much slower than other forms of yoga.

• This type of yoga is different to others, as it focuses on breathing rather than poses.

“I hope that the future of Kemetic yoga can reach as many people as possible,” Wesley said.

This type of yoga is different to others, as it focuses on breathing rather than poses.

Breathing is a significant aspect in all forms of yoga but with Kemetic yoga it is enhanced and highlighted. It is also much slower than other forms of yoga.

Kemetic yoga is more than imitating the poses of the gods which have remained eternal due to the carvings on the temple walls. It is a philosophy that aims for self-development.

Kemetic yoga aims to showcase a different side of tourism in Egypt. The film, “Yoga in Egypt,” is one aspect of a partnership between CNN and the ministry, which has launched an international tourism campaign. 

The campaign aims to promote tourism in Egypt by showcasing the country in a different light and changing perceptions about it.

Last month the ministry said it was working with social media influencers to promote Egypt as a travel destination, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.