5 Numbers to Know for Breast Cancer Risk Reduction

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

In 2012, nearly 40,000 women will die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Only lung cancer tops the gender-biased blight as the primary cause of cancer death in American women.

There are a few things a lady can do to protect herself from the dangers posed by breast cancer. Getting to know your breasts by performing regular self-exams is one of the best ways to spot a potential problem before it becomes a major health concern.

Another way to cut your chances of developing this deadly disease is by adopting healthy lifestyle habits that include a nutritious diet and a regular exercise program.

But just how much do you need to work out every week? How much weight gain is too much?

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Here are five numbers every woman should know for breast cancer risk reduction:

40 years: the age you should start getting an annual mammogram. Only about 5 percent of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women who are younger than 40. In fact, the average age of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer is 61, says the National Cancer Institute.

88 percent: the odds a woman with stage one breast cancer will live at least five more years, according to the American Cancer Society.

2 or more: the number of daily alcoholic drinks that may raise your chances for developing breast cancer by 20 percent. After conducting a review of more than 50 different studies on the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk, a group of British researchers determined that for each alcoholic beverage consumed per day, a woman’s breast cancer risk rose by seven percent.

20 pounds: the extra body mass that could bump your breast cancer risk by 45 percent. Having excess fatty tissues can increase the amount of cancer-fueling estrogen in a post-menopausal woman’s body. Since the majority of breast cancers happen in older women, if you are at (or nearing) menopause, you should consider maintaining a healthy weight as a crucial step to take to avoid the disease.

5 hours: the minimum amount of time you need to spend sweating each week to ward off breast cancer. Numerous studies indicate that sticking to a regular exercise regimen can lower a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer by as much as 20 percent. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests engaging in a workout regimen that includes a combination of cardio and strength training.

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By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Siti R.
Siti R.3 years ago

thanks, will share!

Leena K.
Leena K.3 years ago

good reminder, I had my mammogram and ultra sound last week.

charlotte T.
charlotte T.3 years ago

Another thing to steer clear of is antipersperant. Just think about all the aluminum your rubbing right into a sensitive area on your body right above your breasts! Check for deodorants without harmfull aluminum zirconium.

Linda Wallace
Linda Wallace3 years ago

I wish my oncologist knew just a tiny bit about breast cancer prevention.

Alicia N.
Alicia N.3 years ago

Thank U very much.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks for the info...though I'm not so sure about mammograms; Ultra sound might be safer.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle3 years ago

My wife hates mammograms. She says that she does not understand why they should be so uncomfortable. She also continually says that she believes it to be a procedure invented by a man, because no women would subject another women to this sort of discomfort.

Eva Jager
Eva Jager3 years ago

1) Stay away from mammograms. High radiation, more damage than any benefit.
2) If this is the statistic when poisonous treatments are launched against cancer (88 percent: the odds a woman with stage one breast cancer will live at least five more years, according to the American Cancer Society), then better stick to the last advices, and run from conventional so-called cancer treatments.

Mae P.
annie P.3 years ago

There is a lot of information out there that suggests that mammograms are not the best thing for us ladies......if you have no lumps or bumps, best stay away from them....