In October, it’s difficult to go outside without seeing pink. Pink ribbons, pink equipment in sporting events- almost anything can be pink-i-fied to spread awareness about breast cancer. Because of this trend, most people are now aware of breast cancer, but few are aware of the precautions one can take to prevent this type of cancer. So while you put on your pink headbands, socks, and face paint, remember these guidelines to cut your risk of breast cancer.

Limit alcohol. The more you drink, the more likely it is that you could develop breast cancer. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to less than one drink per day.

Don’t smoke. There is increasing evidence that smoking could be linked with breast cancer risk, especially in premenopasual women. Not smoking in general is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Be physically active. Although maintaining a healthy weight is important to lessen the risk of breast cancer, a main component in that is being physically active. For most adults, it is reccommended to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.

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Breast-feed. Although this only applies to carrying parents, breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention.

Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You might be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you are taking hormones.

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