Even though your chance of getting breast cancer is relatively low – women in the U.S. have only a 1-8 chance of being diagnosed with the disease – it's still the second most common cancer affecting women. Not all of the causes are known, but factors like genetics can play a role. Things like a healthy diet, exercise, regular sleep habits, and reducing stress in your life can contribute to prevention.
What really causes breast cancer?
Breast cancer has many causes, some of which are unknown. When DNA inside a cell is damaged, that cell can become cancerous. Radiation exposure and other cancer-causing substances can damage breast cancer cells and cause breast cancer.
Some women are also born with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. But in most cases, the cause is not known. Even young, healthy women with no family history of breast cancer or significant carcinogen exposure can get the disease.
How can I reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Staying healthy in general can reduce your risk of breast cancer and other diseases.
Make the following lifestyle modifications to reduce your risk of breast cancer:
- Eat a healthy diet low in animal fat and processed carbs and high in whole grains, plant-based proteins and phytochemicals.
- Exercise more than 150 minutes every week through a combination of cardio and strength training.
- Don't smoke, or if you do smoke, talk to your primary care physician about quitting.
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Look for lifestyle modifications to
reduce stress, such as meditation.
- Drink less than five or six alcoholic beverages per week.
Have more questions about breast cancer? Our breast experts can help.