Many doctors and scientists have previously connected a woman’s lifestyle and the way she lives with the genetic predisposition to breast cancer. This link was previously thought to increase a woman’s chances of contracting the disease.
However, in a recent study called the “British Million Women Study,” authored by Ruth Travis, DPhil who works at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, UK, proved this “fact” as untrue.
What is the Risk?
In a statement, she staid that, “We looked at whether lifestyle factors for breast cancer, such as hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), alcohol consumption, and reproductive history, influence the genetic risk. The answer is they do not.” Other lifestyle factors looked at in the study included:
- Age at first menstruation
- Number of births
- Age of mother at first birth
- Menopausal status and age at menopause
- Body-mass index and height
- Alcohol consumption history
What this means is that although these lifestyle factors do indeed pose a risk of contracting breast cancer, that risk is separate than that of genetic predisposition.
Because lifestyle factors, such as breastfeeding, environmental choices, food eaten and exercising among other factors, are still a risk, every woman should do what they can to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes getting more exercise, eating healthy and getting a breast cancer screening when needed and at regular intervals.