Breast Cancer Awareness Tip Sheet

It’s easy to worry about getting breast cancer. But instead of worrying, try taking these three important steps toward breast cancer prevention:

1. Exercise

No matter how much you weigh, exercise in any amount is still beneficial in preventing breast cancer.  Ideally, if you can exercise strenuously for three hours each week, you’ll decrease your risk by 20 percent.  And, if your weight is creeping up, be aware that obesity after menopause does raise your breast cancer risk.

2. Avoid combined hormone therapy and reconsider use of birth control pills

Combined hormone replacement therapy uses both estrogen and progestin (progesterone-like hormone).  Since estrogen levels play a role in breast cancer, anything that affects your hormones could play a role in cancer cell growth.  That’s why some doctors suggest avoiding herbal type hormones, and the hormones in birth control pills. If you are on birth control pills, ask your doctor about contraception alternatives.

3. Ask your doctor if you have dense breast tissue

Women who have dense breast tissue are at increased risk for breast cancer.  (And, you can have dense breasts even if your breast size is small.)  If you do have dense breasts, also talk to your doctor about the need for an MRI.  She might suggest this type of screening test if you have other breast cancer risk factors like family history.

Medical information within this site is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. Please consult a licensed health care professional for the treatment or diagnosis of any medical condition.