Understanding and Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Posted 05/30/24
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Breast Cancer Risk Factors

There are actions you can take to reduce your risk!

With one in eight women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it’s key to be aware of your risk factors and get regular mammograms to promote early detection and treatment of any existing cancer for the best outcome.

The two most common risk factors of breast cancer are being born female and getting older. There are other risk factors you are born with or cannot impact like genetics, family history of breast cancer, dense breast tissue, or previous exposure to radiation therapy. Your reproductive history can also affect your risk, for example, a pregnancy after 30 years old, not breastfeeding, and/or not experiencing a full-term pregnancy.

Breast cancer risk factors you can affect:

  • Not being physically active
  • Being overweight or diagnosed with obesity after menopause
  • Taking certain hormone replacement therapy for more than five years or taking certain oral contraceptives
  • Drinking alcohol (Moderate drinking for women is one or fewer drinks per day.)
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to some chemicals and hormone changes related to night-shift work

Reducing your risk factors does not replace the need to get regular mammograms. Ask your provider if you are due for your screening.

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Generations Advantage covers in-network screening mammograms every 12 months for women aged 40 and older at no cost. Your Wellness Wallet benefit can be used to purchase equipment/services to help you be active and achieve a healthy weight.