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Mar 25, 2010 8:24 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Experts: One-third of breast cancer avoidable

Experts at a scientific conference are saying that up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided if women ate less and exercised more.

Carlo La Vecchia, a cancer expert at the University of Milan, says it's time to focus on lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. His comments came in a lecture during the European breast cancer conference in Barcelona.

La Vecchia also said drinking less alcohol could help. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.

The disease is thought to be fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. Experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn spark breast cancer.

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