Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can affect you whether you are in your 20’s or 60’s, no matter what race you are, and no matter what gender. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and is the second leading cause of death in women. While you may not have a family history of breast cancer, there are a lot of risk factors that contribute to you being at an increased risk of developing it within your lifetime.
There are many risk factors that you cannot change when it comes to your risk of breast cancer, but there are also many factors that you can control and be proactive about. But most importantly talk to your doctors, who can help you understand your risk of breast cancer. And remember, you’re never too young to start practicing self-exams!
RISK FACTORS THAT CAN’T CHANGE
Aging: While you can’t change getting older, unfortunately everyone’s risk goes up the older they get. So, if you are in your 40’s consult your doctor about starting regular mammograms to help catch any abnormalities early.
Family History: Unfortunately, breast cancer can be genetic and run in your family. If anyone in your family has had breast cancer, such as your mom, grandma, sister, or even aunt on either side this may put you at an increased risk.
Personal History: If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you are at an increased risk of developing it again a second time. Other types of cancer, according to Mayo Clinic, also increase your risk of breast cancer as well.
RISK FACTORS YOU CAN CHANGE
Drinking Excessive Alcohol: Studies have found that women who drink alcohol are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer within their lifetime. Try to limit your alcohol intake.
Not Exercising: Women who sit for 6+ hours a day are 10% more likely to develop breast cancer. Be sure to exercise regularly to help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Download our Exercise Tip card for easy ways to get and stay motivated.
Unhealthy Eating Habits: A healthy diet can help reduce the chance of developing breast cancer by up to 40%. As women who are overweight have a higher risk. Download our Healthy Eating Grocery list to learn what foods you should incorporate into your diet.