Do you know your risk for breast cancer?

Most breast cancers aren’t inherited — that means there are things you can do to lower your risks for breast cancer. If you can identify modifiable risk factors, you can make changes to reduce your risks.

Preventing cancer begins with healthy habits. You can beat the odds by being physically active, limiting alcohol intake and eating food that nourishes your body. Just like life in general, with breast cancer, there are many things in your control and other things that are out of your hands.

Some risk factors — your gender, your age, and your genetics, for example – can’t be changed. But many other factors – smoking cigarettes, exercising, and eating nutritious food – can be changed or modified. By making the healthiest choices possible, you can make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.

Risk factors:

  • Personal medical history
  • Family medical history
  • Dense breast tissue
  • History of taking DES medication, or having a mother who took synthetic estrogen
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits
  • Increased risk after age 40

Medical professionals use detailed clinical models to help a patient assess her risk of breast cancer. Ask your doctor and find the guidance of a physician or counselor who can provide additional information and support during the assessment process.

In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the most important action you can take is to follow early detection guidelines. Annual screenings have even been shown to reduce mortality rates. If you are 40 or older, or have a family history of breast cancer, talk with your doctor about scheduling your annual mammogram.

Other resources:

Go to baptistjax.com/mammo to request a mammogram appointment.

How can nutrition and weight affect your breast cancer risk?

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