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8 Bad Habits Leading to Breast Cancer

Stop it before it’s too late.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Breast cancer affects millions of women around the world. In the United States alone, it is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. While there are many factors that can contribute to the development of this disease, some lifestyle choices and habits can play a significant role. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Not Performing Self Exams

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One of the best ways to catch breast cancer early is to perform regular self-examinations. This allows you to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel so that you can more easily spot any changes.

2

Not Getting Screening Mammograms

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Screening mammograms are an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer. These tests can often find tumors that are too small to be felt by hand.

Women who don't get regular mammograms are at a higher risk of developing this disease. If you're over the age of 50, it's important to get a mammogram every two years. You may need to get them more frequently if you have a family history of breast cancer.

3

Using Tobacco Products

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One of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer is to avoid smoking. Tobacco use is linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer. Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products increases your risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that women who smoke have a 20 to 30 percent higher risk of developing this disease.

If you currently smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.

4

Drinking Alcohol

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Another bad habit that can lead to breast cancer is excessive drinking. Alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing this disease. If you drink alcohol, it's important to do so in moderation. Women who drink more than three alcoholic beverages per week have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who don't drink.

5

Poor Diet

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A poor diet can also contribute to the development of breast cancer. Eating a diet high in processed and red meats has been linked to an increased risk of this disease. Conversely, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk. It's also important to maintain a healthy weight and avoid excessive weight gain. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for breast cancer since excess fat tissue can produce hormones that can promote the growth of cancer cells.

6

Lack of Exercise

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Getting regular exercise is another important way to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who are physically active have a lower risk of developing this disease. Women who exercise for at least 30 minutes per day have a significantly lower risk than those who don't get any exercise.

7

Certain Birth Control Methods

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Certain birth control methods have also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Oral contraceptives that contain estrogen and progestin can slightly increase your risk. This is especially true if you use them for 10 or more years. If you're concerned about the risks associated with birth control, talk to your doctor about other options.

8

Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is another factor that can contribute to the development of breast cancer. HRT is often used to relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats. This treatment can also help prevent osteoporosis. However, HRT has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. If you're considering HRT, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

9

How to Reduce Your Risk

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While there are many factors that can contribute to the development of breast cancer, some lifestyle choices and habits can play a significant role. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating a poor diet are all bad habits that can increase your risk. Getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are good ways to reduce your risk. Certain birth control methods and hormone replacement therapies can also contribute to the development of this disease. If you have any of these risk factors, it's important to talk to your doctor about them. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Gethin Williams MD Ph.D. is the Medical Director of Imaging & Interventional Specialists.

Gethin Williams, MD, Ph.D
Gethin Williams, MD, Ph.D. is the Medical Director of Imaging & Interventional Specialists. Read more
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