According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime.
You can’t control some risk factors, such as family history, genetics and ethnicity. However, you can influence others by following these lifestyle tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight – Adults should aim to keep their body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
- Eat a balanced diet – Focus on eating plenty of vegetables and fruit, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Read Five Ways to Get a Healthy Meal on the Table Faster to get ideas for nutritious meals.
- Get regular exercise – The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This works out to five, 30-minute workouts. Learn more by reading Seven Tips to Improve Your Fitness.
- Quit smoking – If you need help quitting smoking, Edward-Elmhurst Health offers smoking cessation classes.
- Limit alcohol consumption – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends women limit themselves to no more than one drink per day and men should consume no more than two drinks per day.
Getting regular breast cancer screenings is another way to help lower your risk by detecting cancer during its earliest and most treatable stages. The frequency you should get screened depends on your personal risk for breast cancer. Most women ages 45-54 should get a yearly mammogram. Women ages 55 and older can get a mammogram every two years. If you’re at a higher risk for breast cancer, you may need more frequent screenings.
Edward-Elmhurst’s High Risk Clinics can help women at a higher risk for breast cancer with more frequent mammograms and additional imaging options, genetic testing, and advanced medical therapies and surgical intervention. Our goal is to help women gain access to the most complete care to maintain their breast health.