04/02/2011 10:35 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Breast Cancer Affects One In Eight Women

Figures from Cancer Research UK published today show cases of breast cancer are on the rise in this country, with one in eight women developing the disease. That's a 3.5% increase compared with statistics from 1999, when a woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer was one in nine.

woman-using-exercise-bike-breast-cancer Exercising more could help reduce your breast cancer risk. Photo: Getty, Stefanie Aulmann

But it's not all doom and gloom. While the biggest increase in cases is seen in older women, experts claim the number of younger women developing breast cancer has dropped slightly to one in five (that's women under the age of 49).

Diagnosis and survival rates are improving too, with two-thirds of women diagnosed with breast cancer surviving for 20 years or more. Three-quarters of women with breast cancer are now living for at least 10 years after being diagnosed with the disease, thanks to things like improved breast awareness, screening and treatments.

The reason more and more women are developing breast cancer, say cancer experts, is simply down to our lifestyles. We're eating more, so we're heavier on average than we used to be. And we're drinking more alcohol and not doing as much exercise as we should. Some experts also claim that having children later in life can also increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

Separate figures released by the World Cancer Research Fund confirm the idea that lifestyle plays a huge part in cancer risk. According to WCRF experts, if everyone had a healthy lifestyle in Britain, there could be 79,000 fewer cases of cancer in the country each year.

What are you doing to reduce your risk?

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