An estimated 232,670 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and roughly 40,000 will die of the disease. What does recent research tell us about breast cancer prevention?
1. Weight Matters: Postmenopausal women who are overweight have a higher risk than those who are normal weight. Women who are overweight have higher circulating estrogen levels and higher insulin levels which stimulate tumor growth.
2. Alcohol Increases Risk: Alcohol is linked to both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, possibly due to alcohol’s ability to raise blood estrogen levels. Even modest intake boosts risk–there is a 17% increase in risk with only one drink every other day.
3. Move Your Body: Women who are the most physically active have a 10-25% lower risk than women who are the least physically active, likely because exercise lowers estrogen, insulin and inflammatory markers.