Breast cancer affects more than 300,000 U.S. women each year. In fact, women are diagnosed with breast cancer more often than any other type of cancer. If you’re concerned about breast cancer, the skilled physicians at Regional Cancer Care Associates urge you to take steps toward breast cancer prevention. Unfortunately, some risk factors, like family history and genetics cannot be changed, but there are certain lifestyle changes that you can and should make to lower your risk for breast cancer.
How to lower your risk for breast cancer
Here are easy lifestyle changes you can make today to help lower your risk for breast cancer:
- Schedule well woman check-ups. Annual check-ups are essential for catching any problems or conditions before they become an issue. Early detection is your best chance of full recovery.
- Get regular mammograms. If you’re between the ages of 40 and 50, it’s time to schedule an annual mammogram to detect breast abnormalities and early breast cancer.
- Limit alcohol. Research recommends no more than one drink per day, as even small amounts can increase your risk.
- Avoid tobacco products. Not only is this a good rule of thumb for maintaining overall health, smoking has been linked to breast cancer — particularly in premenopausal women.
- Get moving. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can help lower your risk for breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese, especially after menopause, increases breast cancer risk. Following menopause, estrogen is primarily produced by fat cells. The more fat tissue you have, the higher your risk for breast cancer.
- Breast-feed. Breastfeeding may create a reduced risk of breast cancer. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
Breast cancer prevention begins with a healthy lifestyle. By following the tips above, you can help lower your risk for developing breast cancer. These important lifestyle changes will not only help you live better, it will help lower your risk for a host of other diseases and conditions as well. Contact Regional Cancer Care Associates’ Central Jersey Division at 732-390-7750 for additional tips that can help lower your risk for breast cancer.