Body weight, physical activity, and diet have all been linked to breast cancer, so these are areas where anyone can take action to prevent breast cancer. Many studies have shown that moderate to vigorous physical activity is linked with lower breast cancer risk. And, a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products can also lower risk. Currently, the ACS recommends these three tips about diet and activity to possibly reduce risk of breast cancer:
- Get regular, intentional physical activity;
- Reduce your lifetime weight gain by limiting your calories and getting regular physical activity; and,
- Avoid or limit your alcohol intake.
The ACS recommends these general guidelines on what types of tests to have and when to have them:
- Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health;
- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic health exam by a health professional, at least every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year;
- Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
- Women at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get an MRI and a mammogram every year.
More information on breast cancer, the risk factors and prevention steps, can be found at:
- The American Cancer Society website.
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Cancer Prevention website.