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Being Proactive: Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates that new female breast cancer cases in 2010 rose to over 207,000. That means breast cancer accounted for 28 percent of all new cancer cases for women.

Many risk factors associated with breast cancer simply cannot be avoided. These include age, gender, race, breast density, genetic risk factors, personal history of the disease, and family history of the disease. However, there are several ways that women can help reduce their own, personal risk of ever developing breast cancer.

One way women may be able to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer is by limiting the amount of alcohol they consume. Studies have shown that the more alcohol a woman drinks over her lifetime, the greater the likelihood is that she may one day develop breast cancer.

For women who have recently given birth, studies are beginning to link breast feeding with the reduction of the risk of breast cancer. This is most applicable when the breast feeding continues for between 1 ½ to 2 years.
Studies have also shown that the use of oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, may be linked to increased risk of breast cancer. For women who have never taken birth control pills and for those who have stopped for over ten years, risk of developing breast cancer is much lower.

Keeping a healthy body weight can contribute to lowering a woman’s risk of breast cancer. It has been found that postmenopausal breast cancer is more likely in women who are overweight than in those who are within the healthy weight range for their height. Therefore, it is very important, especially for postmenopausal women, to stay physically active and to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

As if there weren’t enough reasons for smokers to quit as soon as possible, it has been found that smoking may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Therefore, not only would quitting tobacco use reduce the chances of developing lung or bronchus cancers, but breast cancer as well. Quitting smoking for those who already have breast cancer can mean avoiding complications in cancer treatment due to regular tobacco use.

Hormone replacement therapy for treating menopausal symptoms has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, if taken for five years or more. Therefore, utilizing other methods of treatment for menopausal symptoms may help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women.
Also, regular screenings for breast cancer are encouraged. By having screenings regularly, women can reduce their chances of having a late diagnosis, which can be devastating to one’s chances of survival.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer in Georgia and feel you may be a victim of late detection, please request a copy of our free book, I Have Cancer…Should It Have Been Caught Earlier?, and contact an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer at the Dover Law Firm at 770-518-1133 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.