Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women after skin cancer, according to data from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
In the United States alone, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected in women in 2015, and another 62,570 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
Among those patients, an estimated 40,290 women died from breast cancer, as well as 440 men.
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Here are the top four ways to lower your risk:
Breaking this bad habit is already a well-known tactic for avoiding lung cancer, but increasing amounts of evidence link smoking to breast cancer, too. This is especially important for pre-menopausal women.
Manage your weight
Being overweight or obese is another way to increase your risk. To keep your risk in check, maintain a healthy weight. This is even more important after menopause.
Breast feeding your babies, if you have them, can reduce your risk for breast cancer. The longer you breast feed, the lower your risk.
Limit hormone therapy
Taking combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. This includes birth control with hormones, too. If you’re on a hormone regimen, use the lowest possible effective dose—or even better, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
Factors in your control
There’s no way to completely eliminate all your risk for breast cancer. But, there are certain factors that are in your control. These five ways to reduce your risk is a great place to start—and don’t forget to take care of yourself with regular check-ins with your doctor, too.