October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Are you at risk for breast cancer? Do you have a family history of breast cancer?

You may not be able to change your genetics, but there are ways to control your risk of breast cancer.

The following factors are actionable:

1. Weight. Having a BMI (body mass index) over 25 can increase your risk of breast cancer. It can also increase the recurrence of cancer in women who have previously had it. The reasoning? More fat leads to more estrogen, which can make hormone-receptor positive breast cancers grow.

2. Food choices. Nutrition may contribute to 30-40% of all cancers. Keeping your body healthy and pesticide-free can prevent unhealthy cell changes and lower your risk of breast cancer.

3. Exercise. Moderate exercise for 4-7 hours per week can lower your risk. Exercise is known to lower blood sugar and insulin growth factor in your blood; the latter affects how breast cells develop.

4. Alcohol consumption. Drinking three or more drinks per week can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by more than 15% by increasing estrogen associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer and by damaging DNA in cells.

5. Smoking. In addition to a variety of other diseases, smoking is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. Heavy second-hand smoke exposure may also increase your risk.

6. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Consuming HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer, while combination HRT also increases the probability that cancer will be discovered at an advanced stage.

Read more here.

Want to take the next step in cancer prevention? Now there is a simple blood test that detects your risk of cancer by checking your genes. For more information or to schedule this test, call us today at Medical Offices of Manhattan.

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