To reduce your risk of breast cancer, consider trying to:

  • Discuss the benefits and risks of hormone therapy with your doctor. Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Some women experience bothersome signs and symptoms during menopause and, for these women, the increased risk of breast cancer may be acceptable in order to relieve menopause signs and symptoms. To reduce the risk of breast cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy possible for the shortest amount of time.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to less than one drink a day, if you choose to drink.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven't been active lately, ask your doctor whether it's OK and start slowly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your current weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise. Aim to lose weight slowly — about 1 or 2 pounds a week.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or feel you may have an increased risk of breast cancer, discuss this with your health care provider. Medications, surgery and more-frequent screening may be options for women with a high risk of breast cancer.

May. 22, 2012

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