While it can be intimidating learning that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Here are five lifestyle choices that, according to Amy Marturana at self.com, can make a significant impact on reducing your risk for breast cancer:
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
This one is especially important for adults, according to Cynthia Zahnow, Johns Hopkins professor of oncology. Weight gain, especially after menopause, can increase one’s risk for the disease, while keeping your weight in check has the opposite effect. This can be achieved by eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity.
2. Get physical.
The more you move, the better. Studies show that the more physical activity you engage in, the greater the risk reduction. 30 to 60 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity exercise daily can significantly decrease your risk for breast cancer.
3. Decrease alcohol consumption.
Because alcohol increases estrogen levels, it also increases the risk of breast cancer. Self.com suggests limiting alcohol consumption to one drink or fewer today. This is even more crucial for those with a family history of breast cancer or other big risk factors, according to Zahnow.
4. Put down the cigarette.
Through there is some controversy as to what extent smoking affects one’s chances of getting breast cancer, Zahnow suggests quitting to avoid the risk.
5. Manage your menopause, minus the hormones.
Combination hormone therapy, which minimizes the symptoms of menopause, can increase breast cancer risk if used for more than three years. Self.com suggests discussing non-hormonal treatments with your doctor or using a low dose of hormonal therapy.