You cannot actually prevent the development of breast cancer, but you might be able to catch it at a very early stage, if you are checking your breasts consistently. Self-examination is essential in noticing a potential lump. Furthermore, the NHS offers screening for breast cancer which gives a detailed analysis of the breast and has detected as many as 16,500 cases in a year.
Examining your breast
The best way of controlling whether you have a lump or not, is to get to know how your breasts normally feel through self-examination. In the beginning you will need to check you breasts often, to see how they change over the course of time. It is normal for a breast to change structure e.g. right before and during a period. These changes are normal and should not cause any worries. But the important thing is to know your breast well enough to tell the regular changes from a potential cancerous lump. Over the course of time you will only need to check your breasts once a month, but you can do it more often if it makes you feel more comfortable.
The NHS offers a breast screening programme for all women between 50-70 years of age, which is the most common age-gap to get breast cancer in. In England they are extending to a wider target between 47-73. Just in the financial year of 2009/10 this programme found roughly 16,500 cases of breast cancer and every woman over the age of 50 and registered with a GP will get an invitation to attend the programme.
Source: Cancer Research UK