Ways to decrease your risk of breast cancer
Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women, but changing your lifestyle is a lot easier said than done.
Here's a few things you can do right now to help decrease your risk.
1. Limit alcohol
The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol (beer, wine or liquor) limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
2. Stay physically active
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer.
For most healthy adults at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly is ideal.
3. Don't smoke
Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women.
In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
4. 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.
5. If you're pregnant, breast-feed
Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
6. Choose safe products
Some beauty products contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals that can increase breast cancer risk.
The best way to avoid chemicals is to use fewer products with simpler ingredients.
7. Use sunscreen outdoors
As good as the sun is for Vitamin D, it can be harmful to our skin and increase our risk of breast cancer if we're not protected. Use sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB and is SPF 30 or higher.
Although we can't protect ourselves from cancer entirely, there are some things we can change about our lifestyle that can decrease our risk and give us a fighting chance.