Risk Factors

There has been considerable research on the causes of cancer and much publicity on how to reduce our lifetime risk. To learn more, click here

Breast cancer is a multi-factorial disease i.e. it has many causes, many of which are not known. Despite a huge body of research, there is, as yet, no known way to completely prevent breast cancer. However, there are a few ways to reduce an individual’s risk. The following list summarises some of the areas that have been highlighted in the research papers.

This list is neither “fool-proof” nor definitive. Nor does the Challenge Breast Cancer Scotland  endorse any of the proposals. We are suggesting that women look at the evidence for themselves and make an informed choice on how they might reduce their risk of breast cancer, taking into account their own perceived risk of breast cancer, those lifestyle choices outwith their control, those which might impinge on their quality of life and those which make perfect sense.

• If post-menopausal, reduce your weight and take regular exercise

• Moderate your intake of alchohol, although it should be remembered that alcohol is a cancerogenic substance and there is, therefore, no safe level.

• Lifestyle choices make a significant contribution but many are outwith our control. Having children at a younger age is not always possible but breast feeding is best, not only for baby, but for women as well

• Choose chemical free products for use in the home and for your personal care. Be aware of your possible environmental risk of breast cancer in the workplace and at home

• Be breast aware. Most breast cancers – around 60 per cent – are picked up by women themselves or their partners. If in any doubt at all, consult your doctor.

• Join the campaign to have the environmental risk of breast cancer put onto the government’s cancer prevention programmes