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Why is the impact of Breast Cancer important to people in alberta?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Alberta.1 About 2,370 women were diagnosed in 2015.2

  • The risk of a woman getting breast cancer starts rising at about the age of 25. The risk keeps getting higher until about age 75 and then gets lower for older women.1
  • Between 1996 and 2015, the rate of new breast cancer cases for women in Alberta stayed about the same. During the same time period the rate of dying from breast cancer decreased substantially.2,6
  • Better treatments for breast cancer played a big role in helping more women survive. Also, more women are being screened through the Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program, so breast cancer is being found earlier. Earlier cancer detection allows treatments to work more effectively, so women can have better outcomes.
  • Breast cancer also occurs in men, however fewer than 20 men are diagnosed in Alberta each year.2
  • Tobacco smoking is linked to about 5% of new breast cancer cases in Alberta.9
  • Alcohol is linked to up to about 3% new breast cancer cases in Alberta.10
  • Sedentary behaviour is linked to about 3% of new breast cancer cases in Alberta.11
  • Not eating enough fruit is linked to about 6% of new breast cancer cases in Alberta.12

What can I do?

Experts agree that together, we can prevent about 26 out of every 100 cases of breast cancer in Alberta.2 Here’s how:

Not being active enough is linked to about 7% of new breast cancer cases.7

To achieve health benefits, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.4

Excess weight is linked to about 4% of new breast cancer cases in Alberta.8 The WCRF/AICR recommend adults stay at a healthy body weight3 and keep their body mass index (BMI) in the normal range. Use our BMI Tool to find the healthy weight range for you.

BMI Calculator

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More information on breast cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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