Healthy lifestyle, early detection can reduce breast cancer risk

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is urging women to reduce their risk of the disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle and talking to their health care provider about early detection.

Some breast cancer risk factors, such as sex, age, family history, and race, are outside of anyone’s control. However, there are several habits that can help to reduce a woman’s risk, such as avoiding tobacco use, maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active, according to a press release from ISDH.

In 2014, 4,563 cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in Indiana. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Indiana, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Indiana women, according to the press release. The Surgeon General’s report “The Health Consequences of Smoking,” suggests cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke may contribute to breast cancer.

Early detection is critical to increasing breast cancer survival rates. The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends a screening mammogram, which helps detect cancers before a lump can be felt, every two years for women 50 to 74.

To learn more abut breast cancer, including signs and symptoms, benefits of early detection and behaviors that can help disease risk, visit Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2015 report. For information on quitting tobacco use, or for free quit assistance, please contact the Indiana Tabacco Quitline at Quit Now Indiana or call 1-800-QUIT NOW.