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Steps you can take today to reduce your breast cancer risk

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Steps you can take today to reduce your breast cancer risk

Steps you can take today to reduce your breast cancer risk

Woman hands giving satin pink ribbon, supporting symbol of breast cancer awareness campaign in October, on light brown paper background with copy space

With breast cancer being the second most common form of cancer among women, it’s not surprising that many of us have been affected by it in some way. This Breast Cancer Awareness month, higi is committed to increasing awareness about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. While there are some risk factors, like genetics and age, that we can’t avoid, there are others that are within our control.

Thankfully, many of the things we do to keep our bodies healthy in general can help reduce our risk of breast cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the following precautions to lower our risk:

  • Staying at a healthy weight. Choosing healthy foods that nourish our bodies is key to maintaining our bodies.[1] Keep track of your weight by visiting a higi Health Station near you.
  • Exercising regularly. There are many health benefits of regular physical activity, from reducing cancer risk to improving your mood.[2]
  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to one a day. Gender differences in body chemistry mean that women absorb more alcohol and take longer to break it down and remove it from their bodies.[3] The risk of breast cancer also increases as alcohol use increases.[4]
  • If you’re taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or hormone replacement therapy, ask your doctor about the possible risks and whether they are the best option for you.[5]
  • If you’re able, breastfeed your children. Breastfeeding is good for a mother’s health and reduces risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancers.[6]
  • If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about things you can do to lower your risk.[7]

[1] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 11 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm

[2] Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. May 15 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/

[3] Facts Sheets – Excessive Alchol Use and Risks to Women’s Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 7 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm

[4]  Facts Sheets – Excessive Alchol Use and Risks to Women’s Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 7 2016. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm

[5] What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 11 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm

[6] Breastfeeding for Cancer Protection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. August 1 2019. https://blogs.cdc.gov/cancer/2019/08/01/breastfeeding-for-cancer-prevention/

[7] BRCA Gene Mutations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 5 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/bringyourbrave/hereditary_breast_cancer/brca_gene_mutations.htm