Even if you have already been treated for cancer, reducing your risk factors may lower the chance of your cancer coming back.
You might also want to talk to your family members about reducing their cancer risk.
What are risk factors?
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting cancer.
Having a risk factor doesn't mean you will definitely develop cancer but it means you are more likely to get it than someone without the risk factor. For example, people who smoke cigarettes are much more likely to get lung cancer than those who don’t.
Breast cancer risk factors
Some risk factors can’t be changed, like your age or family background. Other risk factors are called lifestyle risk factors. These are factors that you can change.
Risk factors for breast cancer include the following:
- being a woman
- getting older
- family history
- faulty genes - BRCA1 or BRCA2 or PALB2
- previous breast cancer
- drinking alcohol
- being overweight or obese
- lack of exercise.
Reducing your cancer risk
Improving your lifestyle is an important way to lower your chance of developing cancer. Taking care of yourself in this way can also have other positive effects on your health.
Things you can do include:
- eating a healthy, well balanced diet
- staying active and exercising regularly
- don’t smoke
- limiting how much alcohol you drink
- maintaining a healthy weight
- protecting your skin from too much sun.