Both men and women can get breast cancer, but women are at much higher risk. You can’t always avoid breast cancer, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Live an active lifestyle, eat healthy, don’t smoke and drink alcohol in moderation. These are all great ways to protect your health and reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Studies show breastfeeding can also play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the protection you get.
Some factors that can increase your risk of breast cancer include:
- Age (55-plus)
- Dense breast tissue
- Family history
- Poor diet
Breast cancer does not always cause symptoms. When it does, swelling or a lump on or near your breast, or fluid leaking from your nipple are a few of the most common symptoms you might notice.
Monthly breast self-exams can lead to an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer. Depending on your age, it’s also important to see your doctor for routine screenings such as mammograms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends women ages 50 to 74 have a mammogram every 2 years.
Your doctor may recommend different screening guidelines depending on your personal risk factors. Women at high risk of breast cancer may get a breast MRI each year in addition to a mammogram.