According to the American Cancer Society, every three minutes, on average, another woman learns she has breast cancer. The good news is that there are several strategies that can help reduce risk. Try incorporating the following lifestyle changes into your daily routine:
- Get active. Regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes on most days) has been shown to be protective against breast cancer.
- Maintain your health care. Early detection is key: in addition to monthly self examinations, women between ages 20 and 39 should have a clinical breast exam performed by a health care professional at least every three years; women 40 years of age or older should have annual breast exams and talk with their doctor about mammograms.
- Supplement wisely. Folic acid, vitamin D and antioxidants all may help decrease risk.
- Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens. These chemicals with estrogen-like activity are found in common pesticides and industrial pollutants and as hormone residues in meat, poultry and dairy products.
- Avoid exposure to radiation. Limiting the number of chest X-rays you receive, especially at a young age, may decrease the risk of breast cancer.
- Talk with your doctor. If you have close relatives with breast cancer, your personal risk is increased. Let your doctor know your family history, and discuss other ways you can help to prevent breast cancer.
More details on lowering breast cancer risk.