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According to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there has been a 2% annual increase in invasive breast cancer in U.S. women under 40 over the last three decades. A second study by the American Cancer Society shows that invasive breast tumors in women under 45 years old increased by 11.8% between 2007 and 2011 alone.
This is especially alarming because young women are less likely to perform regular self-exams or seek out mammograms, and because cancers diagnosed in younger women are often more aggressive and therefore more life-threatening.
Whether you are a woman over 40 who has a daughter, niece, grandchild or other young relative, or if you're a young woman yourself, you can make a difference in slowing down this disturbing statistical trend. Until there is a cure, prevention and awareness are our most powerful weapons.
Take the pledge today: Commit to raising awareness about these five proven ways every woman can lower her risk of being faced with a battle against breast cancer.
1) Exercise regularly, preferably three times per week at 30-minute intervals.
2) Eat a whole foods-based diet rich in colorful vegetables and low in processed foods.
3) Moderate alcohol intake to 2-3 drinks per week.
4) If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about the possibility of being tested for the breast cancer gene (BRCA1 and BRCA2).
5) And above all, do your monthly self-exams!