Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Studies have shown that breast cancer is due to a combination of factors and some you have no control over – age, genetics, family history.  But the good news is there are risk factors that you do have control over and changing these factors can help you mitigate your risk of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer risk factors you can change include:

Weight:  Women who are older and overweight are at higher risk for breast cancer, so being active and losing weight can reduce your risk.

Alcohol:  Studies show that a woman’s risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks, so limiting alcohol intake can reduce your risk.

Smoking:  Research shows that smoking is linked with a higher risk for breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women.  There may also be a link between heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

Diet:  Studies have shown that certain foods can help reduce your risk for breast cancer.  Those foods include…

  • Allium vegetables, such as garlic, onions and leeks
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens and chard
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes
  • Berry fruits, particularly blueberries
  • Other fruits, such as peaches, apples and pears
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon sardines and mackerel
  • Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut
  • Beans
  • Herbs and spices, such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, turmeric, curry and ginger

Studies have also shown that certain foods can increase your risk for breast cancer.  Limiting these foods in your diet can help decrease your risk.

  • Sugar can increase inflammation and activation of enzymes related to cancer growth and spread
  • Fried foods
  • Processed meats
  • Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and sugary bake goods

Developing good lifestyle habits is key to reducing your risk of breast cancer. For more information about breast cancer and reducing your risk, visit with your physician.