In addition to genetics and family history, environment plays a role in breast and ovarian cancer risk. Here are 5 lifestyle behaviors that have been scientifically shown to reduce your risk of ovarian and breast cancer:
Be Physically Active — at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week
Exercise has numerous health benefits, one of which is reducing your risk of ovarian and breast cancer. In average risk women, exercise can reduce risk by about 12%. So whether it’s walking your dog, climbing a mountain, or practicing your yoga flow, commit to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activities most days.
Eat a Balanced Diet — don’t skimp on fruits and vegetables
A balanced diet is key to getting your body the nutrients it needs to function and fight off disease. If salads aren’t your thing, try adding extra veggies to your sandwiches or mixing them into casseroles and soups. Every bit counts.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Managing weight is a challenge for most Americans, with over 70% of adults overweight. While more studies need to be done, weight gain has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, as well as a potential increased ovarian cancer risk.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation — 1 drink per day for women
As much as we might enjoy an extra glass of vino (or beer or cocktail) at the end of a long day, drinking alcohol excessively has been shown to increase your cancer risk. That means one drink per day for women and two for men. So sip and savor your favorite beverage, but refrain from more that one.
Quit Smoking — no form of tobacco is safe
Smoking tobacco increases your risk across all cancers, not just lung. Talk to your healthcare provider to find a way to kick the habit and reduce your cancer risk overall.
Assess Your Risk
Environment is only one part of the equation when it comes to ovarian and breast cancer risk. It’s also important to learn your family health history and work with your trusted healthcare provider to determine if you’re at high risk. Use our Assess Your Risk tool to get the conversation started.