Crazy Cancer Cures: Drinking Breast Milk

You guys! It’s time again for another in my series on Crazy Cancer Cures, where we discuss the many dumb ideas I’ve heard about alternative ways to cure my cancer. Today’s is one that made my oncologist look like he was going to throw up when I told him about it, and that’s saying a lot because he’s a doctor, so he’s seen a lot of nasty shit in his career. Are you ready? Here we go…

Drink breast milk. Yep. Let that sink in for a minute.

Now, with both of my kids, I made a CRAPLOAD of breast milk. I mean, I could have easily fed twins with the amount of milk I was making. So, I had a lot of excess milk that we gave away to friends who were struggling to produce enough milk, or who had adopted a baby and wanted to feed it breast milk. But when I was producing milk for The Girl, The Hubs did some research into selling breast milk. Turns out it goes for a couple bucks an ounce on the internet if you’re giving it to someone with an actual baby, or if you don’t care what the buyer does with the milk, it can go for as much as $10 an ounce. I figured I was making about 350 ounces a week, of which The Girl needed about 250, leaving me 100 ounces a week to sell. That’s a shitload of money…but I just couldn’t get past the creepy factor of selling my bodily fluids to some weirdo with a milk fetish. Because EEEEWWWWWW.

I’ve read a lot of articles about people claiming that drinking breast milk either cured their cancer or put them into remission. Problem is, all of them were also getting chemo and other treatments. So, the idea that chemo, which science has shown to actually work on cancer, isn’t the thing that’s working, that it’s breast milk instead, is a pretty dubious proposition. Don’t get me wrong–there are lot of good things about breast milk, and there’s some recent studies showing that breast fed kids are less likely to get childhood cancers. But, my mom breast fed me, and I had a TON of breast milk in my boobs, and here I am with breast cancer. Anecdotal evidence cuts both ways, folks.

Then there’s the cost, which no insurance is going to cover. Even if you’re only paying $5 an ounce for it, and you drink what seems to be the most common “dose” of 8 ounces a day, that’s $40 a day, or $1200 a month. Unless you have a lactating family member who’s willing to donate that much milk to you, this is going to be an expensive proposition. Which is one of the main problems with a lot of these unproven therapies. You have to pay for them out of pocket, and for someone living off of SSDI because they can’t work anymore due to their cancer, the costs are simply out of reach. 

And then there’s the problem of germs. People on chemo and some other cancer treatments have depressed immune systems. Breast milk bought on the Internet is pretty much completely unregulated, so basically you have no idea how it’s been stored or whether the donor has some creepy infection or not. You can hope that it’s “not” but check out this paper and see how much of the breast milk bought online has bacteria in it. Let’s just say the odds are not in your favor.

Do I hope breast milk will someday be found to be a miracle cure for my cancer? Sure, I’m all about miracle cures. I’m also hoping to win the lottery and buy a bungalow in Tahiti, but I’m not holding my breath. 

Got a Crazy Cancer Cure idea you’d like me to write about? Leave it in a comment!

3 thoughts on “Crazy Cancer Cures: Drinking Breast Milk

  1. Hmm. Ick. The thought of drinking someone else’s breast milk makes me a little ill. Cow milk makes me a little ill too when you think about it….

Comments are closed.