Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women worldwide. 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. However, around 1 in 1000 men will also receive a breast cancer diagnosis.

Not all breast cancers will be preventable, but there are a number of things that can be done to help reduce risk.

  1. Say no to smoking

Some research suggests that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer; the risk appears to be greater if you begin smoking at a younger age (before having children). The risk also appears to be greater for heavy long-term smokers.

Benefits to stopping smoking begin within minutes of putting down a cigarette.

For advice on stopping smoking, contact your GP or pharmacist, or make use of free online support [Try searching Smoke Free

  1. Avoid alcohol

Studies show the risk of breast cancer rises alongside alcohol intake. The risk is considered small if drinking sensibly and within the recommended 1– 2 units / day. But drinking three times per week, for example, can create 15% higher risk of breast cancer.

Drinking one bottle of wine per day increases the risk by 50% (in comparison to someone who does not drink at all).

Limiting alcohol intake is a good way to boost the mind, mood and general health.

[For additional support, check the app ‘Drink Free Days’ or search Drink Less

  1. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Studies suggest that gaining an extra stone may increase the risk by around 20%.

The great news is that losing weight, when overweight, helps to reduce this added risk. There are also numerous other benefits to maintaining a healthy weight.

[Read more on the benefits of a Healthy Weight

  1. Stay physically active

Physical activity has a protective effect against breast cancer. Not only by helping to control body weight, but by also having a positive effect on the body’s hormone levels.

Building regular physical activity into the weekly routine is a great way to improve general health and to lower breast cancer risk.

[There are many free apps to encourage activity, including’Couch to 5K’ and ‘Active 10’, but you can also read more on Getting Active