Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and the leading cause of death in women, with more than 2.2 million cases worldwide according to World Health Organization (WHO) data for 2020.
About one in 12 women may develop breast cancer in her lifetime, according to estimates.
Several risk factors for breast cancer, including aging, genetic mutations, and personal and family history, unfortunately cannot be changed. However, other factors related to a neglected lifestyle increase the risk of developing the disease and could be avoided.
According to statistics, physically inactive women have a high risk of breast cancer as well as older overweight or obese women. By balancing food intake and physical activity, excessive weight gain can be avoided.
Similarly, some forms of hormonal therapy (including both estrogen and progesterone) taken during menopause may increase the risk of breast cancer if taken for more than 5 years.
Women who have their first pregnancy after the age of 30, those who are not breastfeeding, or those who do not carry a pregnancy to term are at high risk for breast cancer.
Some studies indicate that a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol she consumes, smoking or chemical exposure.
Breast cancer organizations recommend seeing a doctor for early detection of the disease, having regular breast self-examinations, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.