Health Team

Study IDs steps for reducing breast cancer risk

Posted December 8, 2011

Jennifer Zietz's family history puts her at an increased risk for breast cancer. Her mother has it, and so did her sister.

"It's really scary," she said. "I watched my sister pass away, and it was awful. She was only 28."

Nothing can be done about genetics, but a new Institute of Medicine report is outlining some of the other ways women can reduce their chances of getting the disease, such as avoiding certain hormone therapies, not smoking, limiting alcohol use and unnecessary X-rays.

Using cellphones and hair dyes probably won't have an impact on a woman's risk for breast cancer, according to researchers, who say multiple studies haven't shown a link to the disease.

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can also help.

Zietz is still concerned about all of the chemicals she uses as a hairdresser.

She sees prevention specialists to learn how to reduce her own risk factors and is even considering having her breasts removed as a precaution.

"I'm going to do everything I can," she said. "I'm going to fight for myself, my health and my children."


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