Health & Wellness

3 Ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

If you are a woman in the U.S., you have about a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer over the course of your life. Though breast cancer statistics are alarming, there are ways you can reduce your risk. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, one-third of breast cancer cases could be prevented with weight control, exercise, and limiting alcohol consumption. Here’s how you can implement these three lifestyle changes to reduce your breast cancer odds.

  1. Keep Your Weight in Check
    About 20 percent of breast cancer cases are due to excess body fat. To figure out if you’re in a healthy weight range, calculate your body mass index (BMI). If your BMI indicates you’re overweight, developing healthy eating behavior can be the best way to watch your weight. Age is the strongest risk factor for breast cancer, making healthy body weight especially important as you get older.

  2. Get Up, Get Moving, and Stay Active
    Research found women who were moderately active throughout the day tended to have a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Design an exercise program to make fitness part of your daily routine.

  3. Cut Back on Alcohol
    While drinking alcohol with friends can be a social activity, alcohol consumption can increase your risk for breast cancer. Studies found even drinking the equivalent of a small glass of wine each day led to a 5 to 9 percent increase in breast cancer. Drink in moderation and make healthy swaps for non-alcoholic beverages when you can.

While a holistic approach to healthy living can also help reduce your breast cancer odds, some risk factors, such as age and family history, cannot be changed. Stay vigilant about breast cancer detection and schedule a routine well-woman exam with a Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group OB/GYN.

Sources:
3 Lifestyle Changes To Help Prevent Breast Cancer
3 Key Lifestyle Factors Can Lower Breast Cancer Odds
Breast Cancer Risk in American Women
Determining Your Body Mass Index
U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics

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