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Breast Cancer  Support –

This 1 Common Thing Raises Your Risk of Breast Cancer, and It’s in Your Control

Like many illnesses, there’s a lot about breast cancer that is out of your control. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent it — in fact, you might be surprised by how much certain lifestyle changes can lower your odds of battling the disease.

The battle with breast cancer is always a tough one, as it’s very hard on your body. These are a few things that affect your risk, including one that’s a factor you can control.

Getting older

Sad woman looking out window

If you’re alive, you’re growing older — and while it certainly beats the alternative, your age is a risk factor for breast cancer. The majority of breast cancer is discovered when the patient is 55 or older

An early menstrual period

woman with a stomachache clutching her stomach

Did you start your period before the age of 12? If so, that means you were exposed to the hormones longer than most, which can increase your risk of developing the disease.

Late or no pregnancy

Pregnant woman

Pregnancy causes extensive changes to your breasts, making breast cells less likely to multiply or to develop tumors. But by the age of 35, breast tissue is more likely to have accumulated cells carrying cancer-causing mutations, so if you get pregnant late (or not at all), you can actually increase your odds of getting breast cancer.

Genetic mutations

Breast cancer self-check

Up to 10% of breast cancer diagnoses are thought to be hereditary, the results of genetic mutations like BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women with those genes have higher risks of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer

The age you take your first drink

Smiling young woman on a cruise ship with a cocktail

You may already know that too much drinking can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. But according to new research, your age when you take your first sip of alcohol also matters. Dr. Heidi Memmel, a breast cancer surgeon and Co-Medical Director of the Caldwell Breast Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, says there is a significant increase in breast cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption before age 30, especially if the woman began drinking at an early age.

Why age matters

Three different colored cocktails on a table

According to an article in Reader’s Digest, several studies indicate that alcohol consumption before a first pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer. But there’s more to it than that — how women drink also matters. Binge drinking is especially problematic, and that’s a habit that’s more prevalent in youth.

“Because much youth alcohol consumption is in the form of binge drinking, many young women are unknowingly putting themselves at higher risk of developing breast cancer,” says Dr. Memmel. “It is especially important for young women to know how important a risk factor alcohol consumption is at this stage in their life because it is one of the factors that we can control.”

So what can you do now?

a woman working out with a rope in the gym

Of course, statistically, most women will start drinking alcohol before they get pregnant. But even if your 21st birthday is a distant memory, you can take charge of your health by limiting your drinking to two alcoholic beverages per week. You can also lower your risk in other ways, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest.

Source : https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/this-1-common-thing-raises-your-risk-of-breast-cancer-and-its-in-your-control.html/?a=viewall