NEW YORK (CNN) – October is breast cancer awareness month and we take a look at ways to reduce your risks for developing the disease.
Taking steps to be healthy may not prevent all breast cancers but for most women those steps can reduce the risks.
What can you do? First watch your weight. Being overweight or gaining weight as an adult increases the chances of developing the disease especially after menopause. So eat well to keep your weight in check throughout your life.
Get some exercise. Experts recommend about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. If possible, include at least two strength training sessions a week as well.
Don’t smoke and if you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than 1 drink a day. The more alcohol you consume, the greater your risk, experts say.
If you are able to breast feed when you have children, this may offer some protection against the disease. Avoid hormone therapy after menopause, if possible. It may raise the risk.
In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, it’s important to get screened for breast cancer. Early detection may increase the chances of successful treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the best screening options for you.