Report at a Glance
IOM Report Identifies Steps That May Reduce Women's Risk For Breast Cancer Associated With Environmental Factors
Women may be able to reduce their risk for breast cancer by avoiding unnecessary medical radiation, forgoing use of combination estrogen-progestin menopausal hormone therapy if possible, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco use, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. These preventive steps focus on the environmental risk factors for which there is consistent scientific evidence of an association with breast cancer.
The evidence also indicates a possible, though currently less clear, link to increased risk for breast cancer from exposure to benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and ethylene oxide, which are chemicals found in some workplace settings and in gasoline fumes, vehicle exhaust, and tobacco smoke. Avoiding personal use of hair dyes and non-ionizing radiation emitted by mobile devices and other technologies likely will not impact a woman's risk for breast cancer, as multiple studies have found no connection to the disease.