Watch your weight:  Obesity raises the risk of several cancers, including breast cancer.  Avoid gaining weight over time and try to maintain a body-mass index of 25 or less (BMI calculators can be found online).

Eat Healthy Foods:  Embrace a diet high in vegetables and fruit and low sugared drinks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods.  Eat lean protein such as fish or chicken breast, and red meat in moderation – if at all.  Whole grains are great, and choose vegetable oils over animal fats.

Keep physically active:  Research suggests increased physical activity, even when begun later in life, reduces overall breast-cancer risk by at least 20 percent.   All it takes is moderate exercise like a 30-minute walk, five days a week, to get this protective effect.

Watch your alcohol consumption:  Alcohol use is clearly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.  Women should limit intake to no more than one drink per day, regardless of the type of alcohol.

Avoid taking hormones:  If you must take hormones to manage menopausal symptoms, avoid those that contain progesterone and limit their use to less than three years.

If you are at high risk for breast cancer:  Consider taking an estrogen-blocking drug.  Women with a family history of breast cancer should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of estrogen-blocking drugs such as tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Don’t smoke:  Research suggests that long-term smoking is associated with an up to 40 percent increase of many types of cancer.  Need help quitting?  Consider participating in WebQuit, the Hutchinson Center’s online smoking-cessation study: