Prevention & Screening

Breast cancer cannot be entirely prevented, however there are steps you can take to decrease risk and/or improve early detection of the disease. It is important to discuss with a physician your individual risk factors, including age, menopausal status, and family history to determine your screening needs.

Schedule screenings

  • Screening and early detection is the single most effective way to prevent breast cancer. When the cancer is discovered early, before it spreads, nearly 100 percent of women have a five-year survival rate.
  • Women should be aware of how their breasts typically look and feel and report any changes to a physician immediately.
  • Women should follow a regular breast cancer prevention and screening schedule, based on age. Recommendations are for women with average risk.

Eat healthy

Ensure that your diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but limit your intake of red meat or high-fat foods. A high-fat diet and obesity raise your risk for numerous cancers (and many other health issues).

Exercise regularly

The American Cancer Society recommends women do about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every week.

Consider genetic risk evaluation and testing

If you have a strong personal or family history of cancer, genetic testing may be right for you. Genetic testing helps identify increased risk for breast cancer. Genetic counselors can help decide if genetic testing is appropriate as well as offer individualized analysis to help plan recommended next steps.