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Pink Alert: Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

With over 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year, breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. Short of a cure, early detection and mammograms remain our most powerful defense against the disease. But there are also small lifestyles changes that women can make to drastically reduce their risk. Here are three things — and we promise, they’re manageable — that you can do right now.

Cut the Fat

We’re not asking you to totally give up cheeseburgers and ice cream, but maintaining a healthy weight is key. Having more fat tissue causes the body to produce more estrogen, which may encourage the growth of certain cancer cells in some women. Aim for a balanced diet (load up on those fruits and veggies!) and cut back your intake of salty, fatty, and sugary foods.

Get Physical

Beyond getting you a sculpted bod and providing a regular mood and energy boost, here’s yet another reason to hit the gym: evidence shows that exercise reduces breast cancer risk. The American Cancer Society recommends that you break a sweat for at least 30 minutes (45 to 60 is preferable) at least five days a week. Working out improves your immune system, which in turn promotes cancer prevention. Doing cardio also lowers your levels of insulin, estrogen, and testosterone, all of which, when high, can increase your risk.

Think Before You Drink

We all need a stiff drink sometimes, but how much and how often are you putting one back? Women who have just one cocktail a day have relatively the same risk as non-drinkers, but women who have two to five drinks a day have nearly one and a half times the risk as those who don’t drink. So if saving yourself from a perpetual hangover isn’t reason enough, hopefully this is.

It’s not always possible to prevent breast cancer, but by making healthy lifestyle changes, you can at least taking an active role in prevention.

For more easy ways to improve your health, check out our Jumpstart Your Wellness article.

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