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Healthy Lifestyle Can Affect Breast Cancer Risk

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Athletes wear more pink in the month of October than any other time of the year. That's because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Studies show a healthy lifestyle can affect the disease. It's estimated that each year, nearly a quarter of a million women will be diagnosed with the disease.

But there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle today may help prevent breast cancer in the future.

Studies have shown that women who exercise 30 minutes at least three times a week are less likely to develop the disease, partly because exercise helps boost the immune system.

Studies have not shown that a specific diet lowers risk of breast cancer.

"A healthy diet does obviously play a role in maintaining a healthy weight," said Dr. Sandhya Pruthi. "And I think that's where women who eat well are at a lower risk of breast cancer."

And if you're going to consume alcohol, keep it to one drink or less a day.

"Women who consume two or more alcoholic beverages per day have been found to have an increase risk of breast cancer," Pruthi said.

A rick that is 20 percent to 30 percent higher -- partly because alcohol uses up folic acid, an important B vitamin.

Some women, because of their genetics, will develop Breast cancer, no matter their lifestyle.

But experts say cancer survivors may help prevent a recurrence by adopting these healthy habits.

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