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September 22, 2022 2 min read

How to reduce your risk of Breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are with you, focus on breast health, and fight breast cancer together.

Everyone has some risk of developing breast cancer, but there are many factors that can increase or decrease each individual person’s breast cancer risk.

If you are uncertain about your own risk of breast cancer, it can help to learn about the known risk factors and steps you can take to lower your risk as much as possible. Or if you know you have a higher risk of breast cancer due to factors such as a strong family cancer history or an inherited genetic mutation, you can learn more about those risk factors and risk reduction treatments that may be available to you.

There are a variety of factors that affect your breast cancer risk. Some you can’t change, such as being a woman, growing older, and inheriting a gene mutation linked to breast cancer. But you can change other risk factors — such as being overweight, not exercising regularly, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or eating unhealthy food — by making healthier lifestyle choices.

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Research shows that lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of breast cancer, even in women at high risk. To lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation — based on research on the effect of alcohol on breast cancer risk — is to limit yourself to no more than one drink a day, as even small amounts increase risk.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps prevent breast cancer. Most healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of hormone therapy. You might be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you're taking hormones.

What else can I do?

Be vigilant 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 based on your personal history.


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