Knowing the attitudes and beliefs of midwifery students toward breast cancer and breast self-examination (BSE) practice may reduce breast cancer-related deaths by increasing breast cancer awareness. This study was conducted to examine the attitudes and beliefs of midwifery students toward breast cancer and the BSE practice. The study was conducted with 160 midwifery students at Istanbul University as a descriptive, cross-sectional study. Data were collected by a part of Champion's Health Belief Model Scale and a self-administered questionnaire. The descriptive characteristics were given as frequencies and percentages. The evaluation was done with Kruskal-Wallis test, a non-parametric test. It has been observed 70.0 % among midwifery students have knowledge of breast cancer. 90.0 % of midwifery students know about BSE, however only 14.4 % among them practice BSE regularly every month. The benefit, barrier and confidence sub-dimension scores were positively associated with BSE practice regularity (p <= 0.05). It has been determined that more than half of midwifery students have knowledge about breast cancer and BSE, and that only a fraction of those with knowledge about BSE practice BSE regularly every month. The perceived seriousness of breast cancer and knowledge about breast cancer affect the ability of individuals to perform BSE, initiating BSE and continuing to practice BSE for early diagnosis of breast cancer. The results from the study provide the midwifery students awareness of breast cancer and BSE both for themselves and for the women for whom they take responsibility.