Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer


By: Bren Boston, M.D.

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is a scary statistic. Although the two most common risk factors for breast cancer (being a woman and getting older) are things you cannot change, there are some lifestyle choices you can make to at least reduce your risk.

  • Maintain a healthy weight, as gaining weight in adulthood increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Exercise regularly to lower your risk of breast cancer by 10-20% compared to women who are inactive.
  • Choose to breastfeed if you can, as it lowers the risk of breast cancer.
  • Eat organic vegetables and fruits daily.
  • Choose healthy fats – like olive oil, nuts, and omega-3 fats.
  • Avoid environmental xenoestrogens in pesticides, hormone residues in meat and dairy products, and industrial pollutants. Opt for hormone-free organic meat, dairy, and produce.
  • Limit meat intake, women who eat the most meat have a higher breast cancer risk than women who eat less meat, and avoid eating charred meat.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol, as studies have shown that women who drink 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20% higher risk of breast cancer.
  • Eat more fiber, which is associated with weight loss and reduced estrogen levels, lowering risk of cancer.
  • Include whole soy foods in your diet like edamame, soymilk, tofu, and tempeh the less processed the better.
  • Drink green tea daily, which has been linked to a lower incidence of cancer.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes.
  • Get enough Vitamin D because low vitamin D has been associated with breast cancer.

Early detection is also an important factor. It is recommended to do monthly breast self-exam to familiarize yourself with how your breasts look and feel in order to be able to detect any changes. Have an annual breast exam with a physician and an annual mammogram if you are over the age of 40. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you can meet with a genetic risk assessment counselor to help guide your surveillance plan. The majority of women who get breast cancer have none of the known clinical risk factors. You can join the Health of Women (HOW) Study online at if you would like to contribute to current research looking into why people get breast cancer.

At the Akasha Center’s Women’s clinic, we provide a full and comprehensive integrative approach to women’s care. Utilizing a state-of-the-art diagnostic and preventative approach, we recognize that every woman presents with both a unique personal journey and medical history. Our goal is to get to know each woman right where they are before we meet their symptoms. This approach allows us to develop a personalized and customized health plan for each of our patients.
Please call 310-451-8880 or email us to make an appointment, or check our website for further information: We look forward to welcoming you at our Center very soon.