You may be wondering what steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Some factors, such as family history can’t be changed, but by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and be breast smart you can certainly lower your chances of getting breast cancer.
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Studies have shown that significant lifestyle changes will decrease breast cancer even in high risk women. Here are a few things you can do that are good for your health and will help to lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
- Limit your alcohol intake. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink per day.
- If you don’t smoke, don’t start. While there is growing evidence that smoking may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, overall studies results remain mixed. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
- Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. Include physical activity in your daily routine. All you need is moderate (where you break a sweat) activities— like brisk walking for 30 minutes a day and remember to include weight training.
What else can I do?
Be attentive about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.