Breast Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
More Breast Cancer Causes: Lifestyle, Diet, and Environment
Lifestyle and Dietary Causes
Breast cancer seems to occur more frequently in countries with high dietary intake of fat, and being overweight or obese is a known risk factor for breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.
The use of alcohol is also an established risk factor for the development of breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Women who consume two to five alcoholic beverages per day have a risk about one and a half times that of nondrinkers for the development of breast cancer. Consumption of one alcoholic drink per day results in a slightly elevated risk.
Studies are also showing that regular exercise may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Studies have not definitively established how much activity is needed for a significant reduction in risk. One study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) showed that as little as one and a quarter to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking reduced a woman's breast cancer risk by 18%.
Benign Breast Disease
Radiation treatment increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer but only after a long delay. For example, women who received radiation therapy to the upper body for treatment of Hodgkin's disease before 30 years of age have a significantly higher rate of breast cancer than the general population.
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