Breast Cancer — What You Can Control

by Shandra Martinez

| 2 min read

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life, eating a healthy diet and staying physically active may help lower your risk of getting breast cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that adults get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity — or a combination of these — each week.
The ACS also advises women to be mindful of alcohol consumption or to avoid it entirely as alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink a day. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
If you have any concerns or a family history of breast cancer, discuss them with your primary care provider. Regular breast cancer screening is important for early detection, especially because many women with breast cancer may have no symptoms.
In 2022, the ACS estimates that there will be 287,850 women diagnosed with breast cancer and that 43,250 women will die from it.
The ACS recommends the following breast cancer screening guidelines for women at average risk:
  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so.
  • Women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening.
  • Screenings should continue if a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
Men can also get breast cancer. In 2022, an estimated 2,710 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 530 men will die from it, according to the ASC.
The Susan G. Komen foundation suggests men with a strong family history of or genetic predisposition to breast cancer conduct a monthly self-examination, semiannual clinical examination (starting at age 35) and a baseline mammogram at age 40.
Learn more about breast cancer prevention in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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