Healthy lifestyle choices may help lower your risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Although not all the behaviors listed below lower the risk of breast cancer, they are good for overall health.* Everyone should aim to:
Adapted from the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines .
* Being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and to a lesser degree, eating fruits and vegetables may help lower your risk of breast cancer. Other factors are good for your overall health and may help lower the risk of other types of cancer.
One large study found that women who followed these guidelines had a lower risk of breast and other types of cancer including colorectal cancer .
Learn more about body weight and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about exercise (physical activity) and breast cancer risk.
At this time, there is no research showing organic foods are more nutritious or better for your health than foods that are farmed by conventional methods . Organic foods do not appear to lower the risk of breast cancer or overall cancer .
Organic meat and dairy products come from animals raised without growth hormones or antibiotics. While some people prefer to eat organic meat, chicken and dairy, they do not appear to lower the risk of cancer. At this time, there is no scientific evidence showing a link between the growth hormones or antibiotics used in conventional animal farming and cancer .
Organic plant foods are grown without the use of conventional pesticides. Conventional fruits and vegetables may have low-levels of pesticide residue. However, according to the American Cancer Society, the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables outweigh any health risks linked with pesticide residue .
Fruits and vegetables (both organic and conventional) are part of a healthy diet. Buying conventional produce (fresh or frozen) and thoroughly washing and rinsing before eating is always a healthy choice .
Learn more about organic foods.
Learn more about meat and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about dairy and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about fruits and vegetables and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about pesticides and breast cancer risk.
Making healthy lifestyle choices has benefits at any age. Being more active, eating a balanced diet and becoming more aware of your health can be physically and mentally rewarding at any point in life.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website www.choosemyplate.gov has free tools to help you set weight and activity goals for healthy living. Supertracker is a tool to help you plan, track and analyze your diet and exercise.
Getting regular screening tests (and treatment if diagnosed) lowers the risk of dying from breast cancer. Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when the chances for survival are highest.
Learn more about breast cancer screening.
Susan G. Komen’s breast self-awareness messages
1. Know your risk
2. Get screened
3. Know what is normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes (see images):
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Facts for Life: Healthy Living