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Lifestyle Factors That Impact Breast Cancer Risk

Posted on 25 November 2020
Lifestyle Factors That Impact Breast Cancer Risk

Alcohol: Drinking Alcohol Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

Weight and Body Composition: Excess body fat increases risk for post-menopausal breast cancer. Lean muscle, low body fat decreases risk of pre-menopausal breast cancers

Physical Activity: Sedentary behaviour is linked to increased risk of breast cancer, while being active decreases the risk of breast cancer.

Vigorous activity decreases the risk for pre-menopausal breast cancer.

Moderate activity decreases risk for post-menopausal breast cancer.

Some evidence indicates that people who are physically active (both before and after diagnosis) have a greater chance of surviving breast cancer.

Breastfeeding: Reduces risk of both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer.

Sleep: Women who report sleeping less than 5 hours per night before diagnosis have an increased risk of dying from breast cancer compared to women whose pre-diagnosis sleep pattern was 7-8 hours per night. Women who have disrupted circadian rhythms due to night shift work have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer, Report from American Institute for Cancer Research. https://www.aicr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/breast-cancer-report-2017.pdf
Allison Soucise et al Sleep quality, duration, and breast cancer aggressiveness
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017Jul;164(1):169-178. doi: 10.1007/s10549-017-4245-1. Epub2017 Apr17.
Vogtmann E, et al Association between sleep and breast cancer incidence among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative.
Sleep. 2013 Oct 1;36(10):1437-44. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3032.

Tags:NewsCancerBreast Cancer


  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia