What You Need to Know about Preventing...
What’s the Evidence?
The evidence is convincing that alcoholic drinks increase breast cancer risk, and this is one of the reasons AICR recommends that women limit the amount of alcohol they drink to no more than one drink a day.
There is convincing evidence that being overweight increases risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. This is one of the reasons why AICR recommends staying as lean as possible within the healthy weight range.
The panel judged the evidence that physical activity reduces risk of post-menopausal breast cancer to be probable, and this is one of the reasons to be physically active every day in any way for at least half an hour.
Evidence is also convincing that mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk for both pre- and post-menopausal cancer.
Those are the risk factors over which we have some control, and they’re the ones to focus on. But the evidence also shows that other factors play a role as well: The evidence is convincing, for example, that being tall as an adult can increase postmenopausal breast cancer risk, and it probably also increases risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.
A greater birth weight also probably increases risk of premenopausal breast cancer.
If you fall into those categories, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to get cancer. It simply means you have even more to gain from a healthy diet, regular activity and staying at a healthy weight.
How Preventable is Breast Cancer?
AICR experts estimate that following the above advice could prevent fully thirty-eight percent of breast cancers every year in the US.
That's over 70,000 cases this year alone.
What the Panel’s Judgments Mean
strong, consistent and unlikely to change in the future
compelling but not quite strong or consistent enough to be "convincing"
Limited Evidence – Suggestive
too limited for a grade of "probable", but a general consistency in the data
Limited Evidence – No Conclusion
too inconsistent or insufficient for a definitive grade
Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely
enough evidence to rule out a connection