Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer

The UN department of Disaster Risk Reduction (sounds like something out of a futuristic British sci-fi movie!) boldly states, “there is no such thing as a natural disaster, only natural hazards.”

If you think about it – it makes sense. Take the ever-increasing risk of breast cancer: There are a lot of natural hazards that play a role in its development – genetic predispositions; hormonal dysfunctions; unknown exposure to toxins (natural or man-made). But they’re NOT inevitable disasters. Not all women with those risks develop breast cancer. And there are a slew of modifiable hazards (thank heavens!) – that can reduce your risk (and make your RealAge younger).

One study found that in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada 27 percent of cases of breast cancer are attributable to smoking, alcohol use (we say, excessive use) and, most often, overweight and obesity. Women being older when they go through childbirth and spending a shorter time breastfeeding may also up the risk.   

So what can every woman do to reduce the risk of breast cancer?

  • Quit smoking
  • Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 60 minutes of vigorous activity and 20 minutes of resistance exercise a week.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet (that’s 5 to 9 servings of fresh produce and 2 servings of 100% whole grains daily).  
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. (It, like inactivity and tobacco use, is tied to the risk for developing breast cancer and recurrence in women treated for early stage BC.)
  • Maintain a healthy weight and waist circumference.

Medically reviewed in May 2018.

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