While there is no formula for determining who will actually get breast cancer in their lifetime, there could be ways to lower your risk overall, according to Dr. Ann Partridge, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and founder and director of the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer.
In a recent interview on “Take Care,” Dr. Partridge explained that eliminating environmental toxins and avoiding estrogen are a good start, but there are also individual behaviors that can affect risk. For women who have been through menopause and are overweight, there is an elevated chance of breast cancer. This is also true of women who are overweight in general. While it’s not know why weight plays such an important factor, Dr. Partridge says many scientists believe that being overweight has to do with “energy balance,” and hormones could also play a part.
“Women who are overweight often have higher levels of estrogen,” Partridge says. “It probably also has to do with the hormone insulin. Women who are overweight tend to have higher levels of insulin and people who don’t exercise also tend to have higher levels.”
Women can work to bring their body mass index (BMI) more in line with standards through diet and regular exercise. These behaviors could lower your risk of breast cancer. As can the elimination of cigarettes and alcohol, both of which are risk factors.
You can read the complete article, and watch the video interview with Dr. Ann Partridge here.