Research suggests that having children before age 25 and having many children can lower breast cancer risk. Waiting to have kids until you're older than 25 has been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. Because many women wait to have children until they're older than 25, this apparent increase in risk was troubling.
A study offers some good news to women who delay having children until they're older than 25. Breastfeeding appears to lower breast cancer risk. This risk reduction was seen in both younger women and in women who had their first child later in life. Breastfeeding lowered the risk of both hormone-receptor-positive AND hormone-receptor-negative breast cancers. Other studies have shown that breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding also provides benefits for infants, including a lower risk of early childhood infections and better growth and development. If you're planning on having children, strongly consider breastfeeding. It's good for your baby and good for you.
For more information on how you can make your risk for breast cancer as low as it can be, visit the breastcancer.org Lower Your Risk section.