22 May, 2024

There is rarely ever a one-size-fits-all approach to solving any problem, and the same can be said about reducing our breast cancer risk. Many different things can contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer (genetics, lifestyle, etc), but there are also many things that can be done to reduce it. The good news is that reducing your risk isn’t anywhere near as daunting as it sounds. In fact, it can actually be quite simple when you have the right information to hand. That’s where we come in!

Below is a little bit of background on the things you can do to reduce your risk, along with some handy resources to support you on your journey.

Before you start working your way through the information, take our Prevention QuizIn addition to understanding how your lifestyle impacts your risk. it will also give you a good understanding of the areas you need the most support. It only takes 5 minutes to get your personalised action plan.

 Alcohol

Alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women and heavy drinking may increase the risk in men. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may increase the risk of breast cancer in daughters. In the UK it is estimated that 8% (around 4,400) of female breast cancer cases are linked to alcohol consumption.

You can find alternatives such as mocktails and alcohol-free beer and wine and get into the habit of not drinking during the week. But don’t make up for it at the weekend by binge drinking. Over a short period, you’ll find your cravings and capacity for drinking will diminish.

Read more about alcohol and breast cancer risk here

Click here to download our free mocktail recipe book

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, or EDCs, are harmful chemicals that may interfere with the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking the action of hormones. EDCs may be present in many products, including cosmetics and beauty products, cookware, food packaging, toys, furniture, cleaning products, and more.

EDCs may be linked with several health issues, including breast cancer.

Read more about Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and breast cancer risk here

Click here to download our EDC guide

Diet

A diet high in fruit and vegetables (especially non-starchy vegetables and foods high in carotenoids) helps reduce breast cancer risk. Ensuring sufficient dietary calcium from dairy or non-dairy sources (for example soy), and limiting processed meat (such as bacon) and red meat consumption may help reduce breast cancer risk. An example of a healthy diet that can help reduce your risk of breast cancer is the Mediterranean diet.

Read our blog about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet.

Download our free recipe e-book ‘Organic Flavours’.

Weight management

Maintaining a healthy body weight, especially if you are middle-aged or older, will reduce breast cancer risk significantly. There are many reasons why you might put on weight. Inherited genes, lifestyle, age and what you eat can all play a part.

There is around a 30% increase in the risk of breast cancer in obese postmenopausal women. It is important to consider the amount you eat and what you are eating.

Read our key facts sheet on weight and breast cancer risk.

Buy a copy of our printable wellness planner here.

Exercise

Exercise helps prevent breast cancer in women of all ages but is especially beneficial for post-menopausal women. The World Health Organisation recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (when you get slightly out of breath and your heart rate increases) is estimated to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in post-menopausal women by 20-30%.

As little as one hour of walking per week is of some benefit, and the benefit increases with increasing duration and intensity.

Read more about the benefits of exercise in reducing breast cancer risk.

Want some inspiration to get active, sign up for a 30-day exercise challenge here

Breastfeeding

From the womb to our later years, our bodies undergo remarkable transformations, and our breast cancer risk reflects these changes; this includes breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk; the longer a person breastfeeds the more their risk is reduced. The risk of breast cancer decreases by around 4% for every 12 months of breastfeeding. However, the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Around 72.7% of babies in England have breast milk after birth.

Breastfeeding is a very personal journey, but it doesn’t need to be a lonely one. In addition to the National Breastfeeding Helpline, there are also amazing support groups to help you on your journey.

Check out our breastfeeding fact sheet here

Find out about how to reduce your breast cancer risk during different life stages.

It can be tempting to read all of this and try to overhaul your life overnight, but it’s a journey, not a race. Start with the area you’re having the most trouble with and use your personalised action plan to make small, manageable changes.

For more information, browse through our website or keep an eye out on our social media for more tips on how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.



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