According to nonprofit Breastcancer.org, one in eight women in the United States will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime. But while many risk factors, such as a family history of breast cancer, can't be avoided, research has revealed a few habits that might help reduce your risk for breast cancer. What's more, many of them are fairly simple things we can do now to help keep us healthier in the future. They're not a guarantee, of course, but if there's a chance they might make a difference, they're worth trying all the same.
This year, an estimated 255,180 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States.. What's more, although U.S. breast cancer mortality rates have been declining since 1989, around 40,610 American women are expected to die from breast cancer this year.
But while there is no definitive way to prevent cancer, and while you can't change your genetic risk of developing the illness (about five to 10 percent of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary and caused by genes passed from parent to child), there are some risk factors that you can control. As well as the usual advice on living a generally healthy lifestyle, there's also research available on the risks and benefits associated with certain contraceptives and whether or not breastfeeding and having children can help lower your risk for breast cancer.
Of course, these elements shouldn't force you to change your life entirely; nobody's going to suggest you have children or change your contraceptives if those options aren't right for you. But knowing what scientific studies hold weight is key to making informed decisions about your own health. Here are just a few recommendations.