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Small steps can lead to big life changes.

That’s why Pharmaprix FEMMES and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) have partnered to help educate and empower women to make positive lifestyle changes for their breast health.

Although many people think family history is the most common cause of breast cancer, current research shows that only 5% to 10% of breast cancers are hereditary. More than 90% of breast cancers are linked to other factors.

Some risk factors you cannot change, such as being a woman, getting older, starting your period early, going into menopause late, having dense breasts, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a mutation in the BRCA genes.

But, there are other risk factors you can change that help reduce your risk, such as maintaining a healthier body weight, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking, limiting use of hormone replacement therapy during menopause and trying to reduce your exposure to environmental carcinogens and hormone disrupters in some industrial workplaces or in the products you use at home.

The way we live has a big impact on our health and wellbeing. In fact, 1/3 of breast cancers are preventable through healthier lifestyle choices.

Pharmaprix wants women to be aware of this information and feel empowered to live well for their breast health. In Ontario, funds raised by Pharmaprix’s Beauty Galas have contributed to the development of a digital breast health tool. It is designed to inform women about breast cancer risk factors and provide personalized information on how to reduce their risk through lifestyle changes. The online tool will provide an engaging experience for women, which prompts the user to consider what they know about risk factors and what they can do to reduce their personal risk. At each stage of the assessment, concrete steps for action are recommended to help women reduce their risk of breast cancer.

The breast health tool can help women:

•  Be breast aware—knowing how their breasts look and feel and what changes to look for
•  Reduce their risk of breast cancer through lifestyle choices
•  Understand the benefits and limitations of participating in regular screening

Using the tool, women can create a personalized breast health plan, find inspiration from others and share what they’ve learned with other women in their lives.