Breastfeeding & Reduced
Breast Cancer Risk
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to focus on raising awareness about breast cancer, ways to diagnose it in its early stages when it is most treatable, and steps that can be taken to help prevent it.
Although most parents know that breastfeeding is the optimal way to nourish babies and provides babies with invaluable health benefits, many women are unaware that breastfeeding their babies can also help reduce their own risk of developing breast cancer.
At Health Edco, we offer a wide variety of breast health education materials in our product section dedicated to women’s health education materials. Our breast cancer awareness resources—from breast self-exam models to displays explaining the importance of mammography—help women take charge of their breast health. In our product section dedicated to childbirth and development resources, we also offer a full range of breastfeeding education materials from Childbirth Graphics, our sister company. These breastfeeding teaching tools explain the many benefits of breastfeeding for babies and their mothers, from better health for babies to reduced risk of certain breast and other cancers for moms.
Read on to learn more about breast cancer, ways to help prevent it, and how breastfeeding her children can help a mother decrease her risk for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Statistics
Today, nearly 13 percent of women in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. In 2022, it is estimated that 287,850 women in the United States will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Sadly, more than 43,000 women are expected to die from the disease.
non-palpable as well as palpable lumps.
Fortunately, there is good news about female breast cancer. More than 90 percent of women in the United States who are diagnosed with breast cancer survive at least 5 years after their diagnosis, and death rates of female breast cancer in the United States are declining.
How Breastfeeding Affects the Risk of Breast Cancer
Research suggest that breastfeeding her children may lower a woman’s risk for breast cancer, especially if she spends a year or longer of her lifetime breastfeeding (either with one child or as a cumulative amount of time with more than one child). Breastfeeding causes hormonal changes in a mother that may delay the return of her menstrual cycle and reduce her lifetime exposure to estrogen and other hormones that may increase the risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding may also help protect cells from mutations that can lead to breast cancer.
best with our The ABCs of Breastfeeding Benefits Pamphlet.
Other Ways to Reduce the Risk of Female Breast Cancer
A woman’s risk for breast cancer is influenced by a number of factors. Risk factors such as increased age and family history are not within an individual’s control, but there are important steps a woman can take to help reduce her risk:
Our Breast Care Folding Display provides an overview
of breast health and breast self-awareness.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Women who gain excess weight during adulthood, especially after menopause, increase their risk for breast cancer.
- Follow a healthy eating plan: Following a healthy diet that focuses on a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains while limiting highly processed foods and foods with added sugars helps a woman maintain a healthy weight and meet her nutritional needs.
of breast health and breast self-awareness.
- Be physically active: Physical activity reduces a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Even occasional physical activity can reduce the risk. Regular physical activity also helps a woman maintain a healthy weight.
- Understand the risks of alcohol: Research suggests that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk for breast cancer. Women who choose to drink should talk to their healthcare professional about how alcohol may increase their risk for breast cancer.
- Know the risks of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy: Women should discuss how the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy may affect their risk for breast cancer with their healthcare professional.
Find More Great Teaching Tools to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness and Breastfeeding
Whether you are looking for educational materials to promote breast cancer awareness or breastfeeding, Health Edco has a full range of teaching tools to help ensure the health of mothers and babies. Discover models, handouts, and displays dedicated to breast cancer awareness in our women’s health product section. Our section dedicated to childbirth and development features materials that explain the many benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies and how to get breastfeeding off to the right start.
The information contained in this article is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
©2022 Health Edco® & Childbirth Graphics®