Everyone alive is growing older. And as with many other diseases, your risk of breast cancer goes up as you get older. For example, according to the American Cancer Society, about 1 out of 8 invasive breast cancers develop in women younger than 45. About 2 out of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women 55 or older.
In fact, the aging process is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer. That's because the longer we live, there are more opportunities for genetic damage (mutations) in the body. And as we age, our bodies are less capable of repairing genetic damage.
Steps you can take
While you can't stop the aging process, you can make lifestyle choices that can keep your risk as low as it can be:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising regularly
- limiting alcohol
- eating nutritious food
- never smoking (or quitting if you do smoke)
These are just a few of the steps you can take. Review the links on the left side of this page for more options.