The conversations of life

Did you know one in four breast cancers is potentially preventable?


We didn’t either. But it turns out around six per cent of breast cancer cases diagnosed each year in Australia are due to alcohol consumption – another eight per cent are linked to being overweight or obese.

Now Cancer Australia has launched a new website that provides the latest information on a staggering 68 risk factors for breast cancer so you can learn what your risk is.

The interactive tool covers personal factors, family history and genetics, reproductive and lifestyle factors and medical history factors and ranks the evidence for each risk factor from “convincing” to “probable” to “suggestive” and finally “inconclusive” so users can see which risks are more important.

Women unaware of many risk factors

We tried it out – and there were a lot of “convincing” risk factors that we were unaware of, such as living in urban areas, being an older age at menopause, having a first child at an older age and not having children.

And while you can’t stop yourself from growing older or change your family history – the main risk factors for breast cancer – the research shows you can reduce your risk.

For example, eating dairy and vegetables, increasing your calcium intake and being active are all linked to a lower risk whatever your age.

Of course, having one or some of the risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll develop breast cancer – but with the disease now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, any action you can take to cut your risk has got to be welcome.

You can check out the site for yourself here.

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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