Unfortunately, the two biggest factors influencing your breast cancer risk – age and genetics — are beyond control. But we can influence a few risk factors by making healthy lifestyle choices:
- Weight beyond menopause: The chance of getting breast cancer after menopause is higher in women who are overweight or obese.
- Physical activity: Women who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Alcohol use: Studies suggest that the more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk of breast cancer.
- Tobacco use: Smoking within the first five years of your first period increases the risk of breast cancer, including pre-menopausal breast cancer, which is harder to find. Smoking during teen-age years or early 20's is a risk factor for breast cancer. Talk to your daughters.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise to your routine. Physical activity can decrease your risk of breast cancer. Even women who have had breast cancer can decrease their risk of recurrence with exercise.
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit postmenopausal hormone use
- Breastfeed, if you can
- Don’t smoke, and make sure your daughters don’t start
For more information or to make an appointment contact the Hoffman Breast Health Center at Saint Francis at (860) 714-6970.