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Cancer J. 2018 Nov/Dec;24(6):275-284. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000340.

Modifiable Risk Factors for the Development of Breast Cancer in Young Women.

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From the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.



Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) women aged 15 to 39 years at diagnosis. An improved understanding of modifiable factors that mitigate the risks of the development of breast cancer may allow for future strategies to reduce the incidence of AYA breast cancer.


A literature review was conducted to report upon associations between modifiable lifestyle factors and breast cancer risk.


Higher levels of physical activity, lower red meat intake, and higher intake of plants appear to decrease the risk of developing AYA breast cancer, whereas associations between obesity and AYA breast cancer risk were less straightforward.


Further research, ideally in large prospective trials, is needed to truly understand modifiable risk factors for the development of AYA breast cancer.

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