Breastfeeding and breast cancer risk
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially before menopause, than women who don’t breastfeed [10,17,121-124].
- Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total (combined duration of breastfeeding for all children) of one year were slightly less likely to get breast cancer.
- Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of 2 years got about twice the benefit of those who breastfed for a total of one year.
- Mothers who breastfed for a lifetime total of more than 2 years got the most benefit.
Although data are limited, breastfeeding for less than one year may also be linked to a lower risk of breast cancer .
Triple negative breast cancer
For a summary of research studies on breastfeeding and breast cancer, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.
Other health benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has other benefits for mothers. Compared to those who don’t breastfeed, women who breastfeed have a lower risk of [129-131]:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Ovarian cancer
1. Know your risk
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see a health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images):
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Download our Breast Self-Awareness Messages resource for more information.