Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The focus of this study was to review the literature to determine if breast cancer incidence was reduced by breastfeeding duration. It is important for health care providers to present the benefits of breastfeeding to women of childbearing age and especially to those who are pregnant. This literature review will result in a pamphlet that will be available to health care providers to present to prenatal patients. Informing women about the benefits of breastfeeding and breast cancer risk reduction will promote their ability to make an informed decision on breastfeeding. The Health Belief Model is the framework that was used for this study. We know that a health behavior is an action shown by people perceiving the susceptibility of a health problem. It is important for women to understand that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the barriers of not breastfeeding to reduce and hopefully prevent breast cancer. A comprehensive review of the literature to identify the evidence related to duration of breastfeeding and reduced breast cancer risk. While studies reviewed different data and aspects of increased duration of lactation and the effects on reducing breast cancer risk there is not enough strong evidence to promote longer duration of breastfeeding to reduce the risk of breast cancer. While the literature is still out on risk reduction of breast cancer and breastfeeding there are many clinical guidelines that promote breastfeeding and breast cancer risk reduction. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association and the Academy of Family Physicians all promote breastfeeding for the benefits to women and their babies