Avoiding the risks of breast cancer can seem like a daunting task. Diligent MNN readers already know that breast cancer has been linked to everything from BPA to synthetic fibers to deodorants — and even cleaning products!

And earlier this month, a new study by Canadian researchers found a link between breast cancer and air pollution (via Treehugger). “Women living in the areas with the highest levels of pollution were almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those living in the least polluted areas,” said Dr. Mark Goldberg, one of the researchers behind the study, which was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

But there’s good news about breast cancer, too: You can reduce your risk by living healthier! NPR reports that “some simple steps for healthier living appear to reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer later in life, even if a close relative has already had the disease.”

Simply exercising regularly, moderating alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy weight can lower breast cancer risk. And although women with a history of breast cancer in their family still were more likely to get the disease, healthy habits still reduced risks for these women. The findings come from a study published yesterday in the journal Breast Cancer Research.

So I hope MNN's female readers will be motivated to stay healthy during October, a.k.a. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by getting regular exercise, eating healthy organic foods, and drinking in moderation. And of course, you can go a step further and avoid BPA, toxic cleaning products, and aluminum-containing deodorants, too.

Simple habits reduce breast cancer risk
Exercise, drink moderately, and maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk. These steps will help, even if you have a family history of the disease.