Some breast cancer risks we can’t change, such as our age, family history and whether we’ve had children. But there are actions we can all take in our everyday lives to lower the risk of breast cancer.

Cutting back on alcohol, keeping a healthy weight and being active can all help lower the risk. These actions can also lower the risk of many other types of cancer, as well as diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Know your body

Lumps and bumps are normal in breasts, but you need to know what is normal for you and be aware of any changes. Get to know your own body and breasts, and if you find a change, see your doctor or health care provider to get it checked out. Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these signs: 

  • A change in the size, shape or feel of your breasts
  • A new lump or thickening in one breast or armpit
  • Fluid leaking from a nipple if you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding
  • A change in the position of a nipple
  • Changes to your skin, such as puckering, dimpling, redness or a rash
  • Pain in a breast 

Most of the time these symptoms aren’t caused by breast cancer, but it’s important to get them checked out by a doctor.  

These educational materials were developed in partnership with Cancer Research UK with funding provided by the Avon Foundation for Women.  

The information is intended to help you understand some of the risk factors for breast cancer, as well as actions you can take. It is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor or medical provider to develop the best personal care plan for you. Cancer Research UK has provided all statistics.