The American Institute for Cancer Research has pointed out that breast cancer rates in the U.S. are certainly higher than they are in other areas of the world. They are almost double the rates in Brazil, and triple those in China. Certainly, some of this disparity may be due to a higher rate of reporting, but it is also due to lifestyle choices.
As MedlinePlus points out, you increase your risk for breast cancer if you are overweight, drink alcohol, take birth control pills, use hormone replacement therapy, have children after 35 (or not at all), and don’t breastfeed at all.
Of course, there are also risk factors that you can’t control including your age, sex, race and ethnicity. Gene mutations, family history, dense breast tissue and other factors also increase your risk.
Fortunately, some studies have shown that you can control some of these issues. One study from the World Cancer Research Fund found that about 40% of breast cancer cases in the U.K. could be prevented with a healthy diet, less alcohol intake and more physical activity.