There are some risk factors for breast cancer that a woman can’t control, such as a family history of breast cancer. But there are factors that you can influence. For most women, lifestyle and behaviours are much more important factors for breast health than genetic influences. Only 5% to 10% of all breast cancers have a genetic cause; up to 42% are linked to lifestyle factors. The following steps can help reduce your risk of breast cancer:
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Maintain an active lifestyle.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Breastfeed if possible.
- Weigh the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for menopause symptoms.
- Get screened regularly.
British Columbia’s leading cancer organizations have partnered to launch Five Plus, a new website that encourages women to take five steps to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, plus two actions for early detection. To view the Five Plus website, please visit www.fiveplus.ca.
The following are suggested good health practices:
- Be breast self-aware: know how your breasts look and feel so that you are more likely to notice when there are changes.
- Have regular health checkups and discuss with your health care provider whether a clinical breast exam is right for you.
- Start having regular screening mammograms by age 50.
There's never been a case of breast cancer proven to be caused from radiation exposure during a mammogram. We're all exposed to background radiation- it exists in the ground we walk on and in the air we breathe. Radiation from a screening mammogram is about the same as six months of radiation exposure from daily living. If you'd like to know more about radiation safety, please visit the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada website.
There are some risk factors
for breast cancer that a woman can’t control, such as a family history of breast cancer. However lifestyle and behaviours are much more important factors for breast health than genetic influences. Only 5-10% of all breast cancers have a genetic cause; while up to 42% are linked to lifestyle factors.
To find out how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer, visit www.fiveplus.ca