According to the American Cancer Society, 80 percent of women with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease. That means outside factors can play a role in increasing and reducing a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer — and some of these factors are actually under your control.
Here are five things you can do to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But note, while making these changes won’t completely reduce your risk, it’s a step in the right direction.
Maintain a healthy weight
Extra fat in the body often produces more hormones including both insulin and estrogen, and increased hormones in the body (especially estrogen) are associated with a higher risk for breast cancer. So if you needed another reason to maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle, count reducing the risk of breast cancer as one!
The American Cancer Society recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Anything as simple as walking one to three hours a week can reduce your risk of breast cancer risk by 18 percent. Physical activity not only relieves stress and helps maintain a healthy weight, but it also gets your heart working, which improves your overall health.
This breast cancer-preventing tip may be surprising, but breastfeeding for a year or more has been shown to lower a woman’s breast cancer risk, according to Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Having fewer periods reduces a woman’s lifetime estrogen exposure, which helps to lessen a woman’s breast cancer risk.
Refrain from smoking
This one’s a no-brainer, but smoking can affect your health in numerous ways. According to The New York Times, women who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day for 20 or more years were one-third more likely to develop invasive breast cancer than women who did not smoke. So do yourself a favor and put that cigarette down!
Watch your alcohol intake
Before you pour yourself another glass of wine, you should know that alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer. While researchers are still trying to identify a definitive limit, the American Cancer Society recommends women drink no more than one alcoholic drink a day.
xx, The FabFitFun Team