Cancer is often thought to be a mainly inherited disease. However, research reveals that just 5-10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects - the remainder are driven by external factors such as diet and lifestyle choices.
By making decisions about our lifestyle, like the food we eat and the amount of exercise that we do, really could help cut the risk of developing the disease. Try these 5 quick and easy tips to help protect yourself:
1. Keep active
Research suggests a link between exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for 4 - 7 hours per week and a lower risk of breast cancer. Physical activity can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps reduce breast cancer risk.
2. Stop smoking
Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in younger, premenopausal women and those who start smoking before they have their first child.
3. Mix it up
Diet is thought to be at least partly responsible for around 30% to 40% of all cancers. In particular, consumption of well-done red meat appears to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Studies suggest that women who cut down on red meat and choose alternative sources of protein - such as chicken, nuts and lentils - have a decreased risk.
4. Supplement your diet
A higher risk of breast cancer has been linked to low levels of vitamin D and poor intake of the compound lycopene (a powerful phytochemical found in tomatoes). ProfBiotics Breast (RRP £35.00, www.profbiotics.com) is a supplement developed by a leading cancer specialist, containing anti breast cancer nutrients in high dosages difficult to achieve through diet alone.
5. Limit alcohol
Available data suggests the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. Drink sensibly: the more you cut down on alcohol the more you reduce your risk.