Positive steps to protect yourself against breast cancer

Be a healthy weight

Being a healthy weight is one of the best ways to protect yourself from cancer. Being overweight after the menopause can increase your risk of breast cancer.

This is because fat cells in your body make hormones and high levels of certain hormones increase your cancer risk.

By eating a healthy diet and being physically active every day helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

More information on maintaining a healthy weight can be found in our healthy lifestyle pages.

Be active

Women who are physically active have a lower risk of breast cancer than less active women.

Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five or more days a week.

Moderate physical activity is any movement that makes you feel warm and breathe a little deeper. 

Limit alcohol

Drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. The more you cut down on alcohol, the more you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Don’t smoke

Some recent research suggests that smoking may increase the risk of breast cancer. It is important to note that smoking causes 30 per cent of all cancers.

Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding helps to protect mothers from breast cancer. It is best to breastfeed your baby for the first six months. The longer a woman breastfeeds her baby, the more she reduces her breast cancer risk. For more information on breastfeeding check out www.breastfeeding.ie.

Click here for a PDF version of our Breast cancer - what you should know leaflet.

For more information on breast cancer, and how we can support you, check out our dedicated breast cancer information section here.

Date Last Revised: 
Wednesday, September 23, 2015