According to the American Cancer Society, there are a few lifestyle choices that may affect a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.

Pregnancy reduces a woman’s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be protective against breast cancer. Women who have had their first child after the age of 30, or those how have not had children, are at higher risk.

Additionally, research has shown that women who breast feed, especially if it lasts one and a half to two year cumulatively, lowers the risk. Like pregnancy this also reduces a woman’s total number of menstrual periods.

Studies have also found that women who use birth control have a higher risk. Women who stopped using the pill more than 10 years ago do not seem to have any increased risk. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of birth control pills.

Other lifestyle choices that could directly impact a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer include limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Find out more by visiting North Colorado Medical Center’s Breast Center page.