Healthy lifestyle choices
Healthy lifestyle choices may help lower your risk of breast cancer as well as your risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and osteoporosis. To promote overall health and possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer, everyone should try to:
- Be physically active (get regular exercise).
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose 100 percent whole grain foods (like 100 percent whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, popcorn and quinoa) more often.
- Limit red meat and processed meat (choose chicken, fish or beans instead).
- Cut down on "bad" fats (saturated and trans fats), and eat more "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, like olive and canola oil).
- Get enough vitamin D and calcium every day. For women and men ages 51 to 70, this means 600 IU of vitamin D and 1,200 mg of calcium. For men ages 51 to 70, this means 600 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium.
- Take a daily multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid (often called folate on nutrition labels).
- If you drink alcohol, limit to drink less than one drink of alcohol a day (for women and fewer than two drinks a day for men). Those who drink alcohol should try to get enough folic acid, either through a multivitamin or foods like oranges, orange juice, leafy green vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals.
Adapted from the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines , Washington University School of Medicine's Siteman Cancer Center’s Your Disease Risk  and Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D .
Learn more about body weight and breast cancer risk.
Learn more about exercise (physical activity) and breast cancer risk.
Browse over 600 healthy recipes. Keep in mind, these recipes are meant to encourage healthy (and delicious) food choices, not necessarily reduce your risk of breast cancer.
It's never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle
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.
Breast cancer screening
Getting regular screening tests is the best way for women to lower their risk of dying from breast cancer. Screening tests can find breast cancer early, when it's most treatable.
Learn more about breast cancer screening.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure® recommends that you:
1. Know your risk
- Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
- Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer
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):
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn't go away
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices