November 6, 2008

Adjust Lifestyle to Prevent Breast Cancer

To reduce breast cancer risk, women should focus on healthy eating, moderate alcohol use and maintaining a healthy body weight, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Martin Mahoney of Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a review that examined breast cancer prevention strategies for U.S. women of average risk.

While all women should be advised to moderate alcohol use, women at increased risk of breast cancer should moderate alcohol intake or even avoid alcohol, Mahoney said.

The study authors said that use of pharmacotherapy to reduce breast cancer risk should be individualized to each patient after a thorough discussion of risks and benefits as part of a shared decision-making process.

"While decreases in both breast cancer incidence and breast cancer mortality have been apparent in recent years, the societal and economic impact of this malignancy continues to be huge," the study authors said in a statement. "Although a constellation of breast cancer risk factors has been identified, many of these are not easily modified."

The findings were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.