After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Each year in the United States, more than 245,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
Healthy lifestyle choices may help lower your risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Lifestyle changes are shown to be important in the prevention of breast cancer. Although not all the behaviors listed below lower the risk of breast cancer, they are good for overall health.
Everyone should aim to:
- Be physically active (get regular exercise).
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (People diagnosed with breast cancer who are overweight or obese should limit high-calorie foods and beverages and increase physical activity to help with weight loss.)
- Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose 100% whole grain foods (such as 100% whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, millet and quinoa).
- Limit red meat and processed meat. Choose chicken, fish or beans more often.
- Limit "bad" fats (saturated and trans fats). These are found in foods such as red meat, fatty deli meats, poultry skin, full fat dairy products, fried foods, margarine, donuts and microwave popcorn.
- Eat "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats). These are found in foods such as olive and canola oil, nuts and natural nut butters, avocados and olives.
- Limit alcohol to less than 1 drink a day for women and fewer than 2 drinks a day for men.
- Recognize that at this time, research does not show organic foods are more nutritious or better for you than foods farmed by conventional methods. Organic foods do not appear to lower the risk of breast cancer or overall cancer