Published on September 30, 2022

8 tips to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer

women with breast cancer awareness ribbons

October is breast cancer awareness month. Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers?

According to the American Cancer Society, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%—or a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer.

Our specialists at the Carol Hatton Breast Care Center have put together a list of 8 tips that can help you reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

8 tips to reduce your risk

  1. Get a mammogram. The Breast Care Center recommends women get a mammogram each year by age 40 to check for early signs of breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about when to start based on your family history.
  2. Get active. Get out and do things you love. Join a gym, like Montage Wellness Center, start swimming, or take a Spin® class with friends. Walk or jog with friends. Or better yet, join a Blue Zones Project community walking group, where you can get out and make new friends at the same time.
  3. Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater the risk.
  4. Quit smoking. There’s a link between smoking and breast cancer risk.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer.
  6. Breastfeed. While this is not always an option for new mothers, studies have shown that breastfeeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention.
  7. Consider your birth control options. Naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone can stimulate the development and growth of some cancers, including breast cancer. Because birth control pills contain synthetic versions of these female hormones, they could potentially also increase cancer risk. If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
  8. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eating right is one important way you may be able to lower your risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends eating mostly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and less red meat (beef, pork, and lamb), less processed meat, and fewer sweets.

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