Breast Cancer Prevention


Did you know?

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women
  • 1 in 9 women may develop breast cancer in their lifetime
  • 8 out of 10 breast cancers are found in women age 50 and over
  • Research from the US and UK show that Black women are less likely to get breast cancer than white women
  • BUT Black women may have more aggressive disease*, and may develop breast cancer a bit younger than white women (for some women it can be as early as in their 40s, or earlier)
  • There are things that can be done to lower your risk of cancer, and to detect it early.
  • Screening tests, like a mammogram, detect cancer in the very early stages.
  • Finding breast cancer early can:
    • Increase treatment choices
    • Treat cancer successfully
    • Decrease likelihood of cancer spreading
  • Mammography is the best screening test for finding cancer early for most women aged 50 to 74
  • We don’t have race-based cancer information in Canada, but research in Canada and the UK shows that immigrants are less likely to get screened on time or at all (e.g. don’t get their mammograms on time or regularly enough)
  • Get screened on time and regularly – SCREENING CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Here are some ways to lower your risk of breast cancer

  • If you are age 50-74, get your mammogram every 2 years
  • If you are age 40-49, speak to your doctor doctor about your risk for breast cancer and the risks and benefits of mammography (You can also print the handout in the ‘For Healthcare providers’ section and take it with you to your Doctor appointment – it talks about the specific risks for Black women)
  • Reduce how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer; the less, the better.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can increase your risk; exercising and eating a balanced, healthy diet will help you maintain your weight.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can also increase your risk for breast cancer, as well as many other cancers. Don’t start, and if you do smoke, get help to quit.

For more information on breast cancer, risk factors and how to lower your risk, visit: The Canadian Cancer Society

Learn more about triple negative breast cancer and how it affects Black women: