The risk of breast cancer is related to non-modifiable factors and other modifiable factors – explains Dr. Andrea Sagona, breast surgeon at Humanitas Cancer Center. In particular, among those that cannot be modified we find “natural” risk factors such as the early age of the first menstruation (menarche) or late menopause compared to the average, null parity (never having given birth), exposure to ionizing radiation for medical treatments, etc. Among the risk factors that can be modified, however, the lifestyle is certainly the most important. In fact, by following a healthy lifestyle since adolescence, women have a real chance of reducing the risk of the possible onset of breast cancer. For example, by abstaining from cigarette smoking and moderating or avoiding the use of alcoholic beverages, especially in adolescent years (under 16 years), because it is precisely at this time that alcohol creates the greatest damage to breast tissue that is developing. In addition, healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise have also been shown to play an important role in the prevention of breast cancer at all ages. Another very important factor is surely the maintenance of an adequate body weight, both before and even more after menopause, because in the adipose tissue (fat), even after menopause, there is a production of estrogen hormones. The more overweight you are the higher the hormones, which could facilitate the onset of cancer. From the age of 40, if not in the presence of strong family history (which lowers the age of commencement of controls), it is very important to undergo screening, at least every two years, with ultrasound and mammography to timely detect the possible presence of tumors in in breast tissue in early stages.