You can’t change your family history when it comes to breast cancer. But you can lower your risk for developing breast cancer by making some important lifestyle choices.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being obese or overweight increases your risk for breast cancer after menopause. In fact, an American Cancer Society prevention study found that women who gained 60 or more pounds after age 18 had double the risk of being diagnosed with post-menopausal breast cancer compared to women who maintained their weight over the same time period.
Regular exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, it also offers protection against breast cancer. Exercise helps reduce body fat, which in turn, lowers the levels of cancer-promoting hormones, such as estrogen. Doing 45-60 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week is the best way to reap the full cancer-fighting benefits of exercise.
Watch your alcohol intake
Many studies have found a strong relationship between alcohol and breast cancer. Limiting yourself to just one alcoholic beverage a day can help to lower your risk. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer and other high-risk factors, some physician experts advise avoiding alcohol altogether.