Know the Risks
Minimising Your Risk
Some risk factors, such as age, reproductive and family histories are beyond your control.
 However, others are within your control and choosing to make changes to your lifestyle can
 reduce your risk of developing the disease.
 Here are some simple changes you can make to your lifestyle:
Be physically active
Studies have shown that even moderate activity can reduce your risk by 30 to 40 percent. Choose to do something enjoyable that makes you breathe harder (such as brisk walking or swimming) for a least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
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Lose excess weight
Gaining 5kg in body weight can be a significant risk factor, particularly if you are post-menopausal.
Stick to a healthy diet
Eat more fruit and vegetables and a diet low in saturated fat; such a diet can help to lower your risk of developing several types of cancer.
Limit your intake of alcohol
Researchers have found that people who had fewer than 7 drinks a week had the lowest risk of cancer. With each additional drink a week, the risk of cancer increased.
Breastfeed your baby
Breastfeeding seems to offer some women protection from breast cancer, as well as being beneficial for the infant. Breastfeed for at least 6 months.
Quit smoking
Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing cancer. The chances of developing a smoking-related cancer depend on the number of years a person has smoked, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the age at which the person began smoking.
Birth control pills
Weigh up the risks and benefits of taking birth control pills. Talk to your doctor about this, as taking pills can also offer some benefits.
HRT medication
Talk to your doctor about not using HRT that’s prescribed to relieve symptoms of the menopause. The use of HRT for a long period can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
For more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle visit The Macmillan Cancer Support Website.
Help us ease the journey of breast cancer patients – Action for Breast Cancer Foundation VO/0058