There are some things you can do to help prevent your chances of developing breast cancer. Some things, however, are beyond your control.

Risk factors that can't be avoided

These include your:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Family history

Risk factors that are within your control

Healthy lifestyle habits may help to protect you from breast cancer. These include:

  • Getting enough exercise
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Trying to maintain a healthy weight

Medications and surgical procedures

Some interventions may help reduce your chance of developing breast cancer:

  • Preventive medications. Sometimes medication is recommended for prevention, but you may experience side effects.
  • Risk-reducing surgery. Some women decide to pursue prophylactic mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts in hope of preventing or reducing risk of breast cancer). However, this isn't the best option for everyone.

Discuss your personal risk factors with your doctor and ask whether you would be a candidate for treatment that may reduce that risk.

March 27, 2013