There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things all women can do that
might reduce their risk and help increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it will be
found at an early, more treatable stage.
You can lower your risk of breast cancer by changing those risk factors that can be
- Body weight, physical activity, and diet have all been linked to breast cancer, so these might be areas where you can take action. Both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause.
- Alcohol also increases risk of breast cancer. Even low levels of alcohol intake have been linked with an increase in risk.
- Many studies have shown that moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk.
- A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products has also been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in some studies. But it is not clear if specific vegetables, fruits, or other foods can lower risk. Most studies have not found that lowering fat intake has much of an effect on breast cancer risk.
At this time, the best advice about diet and activity to possibly reduce the risk of breast
cancer is to:
· Get regular, intentional physical activity.
· Reduce your lifetime weight gain by limiting your calories and getting regular physical activity.
· Avoid or limit your alcohol intake.
For more information, the American Cancer Society Guidelines on
Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.
Women who choose to breastfeed for at least several months may also get an added
benefit of reducing their breast cancer risk.
Not using hormone therapy after menopause can help you avoid raising your risk.
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