Breast Health and the Things You Can Control: Modifiable Risk Factors

Breast Health and the Things You Can Control: Modifiable Risk Factors

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s a sobering statistic and a seemingly insurmountable fact. It is what it is, right? Not entirely…

While your greatest risk factors for breast cancer are gender and age – things you have no control over – there are a number of modifiable risk factors – things you CAN do and change in order to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Here are a few:


Smoking. Just stop. It contains cancer causing agents, linked to a whole list of cancers in women and men.  It causes lung cancer (the number one cancer killer for women), heart disease (the number one killer of women and men!), peripheral vascular disease, impotence, yellow teeth, and bad breath in addition to increasing the risk of cancers including breast cancer. Smoking is bad news. Here’s some good news: If you want to quit, there’s support to help you. Once you quit, your body goes into rapid recovery. Check out this timeline.



Obesity increases risk of breast cancer. Eating well and exercising reduce weight, reduce risk.



Just 30 minutes a day, five days a week and you’re golden. There’s science to back those numbers up. And exciting options to keep things from getting boring.



Moderation is key. Exceeding a glass a day increases risk, so temperance is important. Drinking in your teens and early twenties is especially critical when it comes to risk – include that in your talks with your female teens about the risks of alcohol.

Knowing how to reduce your risk is literally a life or death path you can put yourself on. So take hold of what you can control and enjoy your best possible health!





Image credit: smoking timeline – What happens to your body if you stop smoking right now? by Roman Soto via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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