These 5 Strategies Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women. Even though the five-year survival rate—87 per cent—has vastly improved over the past three decades, one in eight women can still expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer. (It’s about 100 times rarer in men.) Many risk factors are out of our control: we’re more likely to develop the disease the older we get, for instance, or the taller we are, although this link may have to do with factors such as childhood diet that contribute to height in adulthood. But current research is finding that we can, to some extent, shape our own odds.
“It’s incredibly important that people know they are not powerless,” says Susannah Brown, senior scientist at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) in London, U.K. “There are steps they can take to help reduce their risk.” Earlier this year, WCRF partnered with the American Institute for Cancer Research to analyze more than 100 studies drawing on data from millions of women around the world. They found strong evidence of lowered breast cancer risk with simple lifestyle interventions. “It’s never too late to get healthier,” says Brown. “But the earlier you start, the better.”
Here are five ways to lower your risk for developing breast cancer.