Two habits that will boost your risk factors for breast cancer 

Breast cancer kills more than 40,000 American women a year. After lung cancer, it's the deadliest cancer in women -- but there are two steps you can take right now that can help ensure you don't become part of this grim statistic.

And you can take both steps at the same time, because they're both related to what you eat.

Diet of course plays a major role in cancer risk for men and women alike, and two new studies confirm that both what you eat and how much you weigh can dramatically influence your risk factors breast cancer.

And if you eat a lot of unhealthy saturated fats, your risk is already far higher than it should be.

Women who eat the most saturated fat are 30 percent more likely to get three of the most common forms of breast cancer: estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive), progesterone receptor-positive (PR-positive) and HER2-negative breast cancers.

In the study, women who ate the most saturated fats took in about 48 grams a day.

That's a lot of saturated fat -- roughly triple the recommended daily limits -- but sadly, too many women are eating that much or more each day.

Most of them get these fats from packaged foods, fast food and snack cakes -- and along with increasing the risk of cancer, these unhealthy foods can also wreak havoc on your arteries and damage your heart.

And of course, it's a diet that's almost guaranteed to cause another one the major risk factors for breast cancer: obesity.

I'm sure you've heard about the so-called breast cancer gene, which increases the risk of the disease in some women. It's true. In a second new study, the gene was found to boost the risk of the disease by 70 percent.

But if you have that genetic marker and you're overweight or obese, that risk climbs by 210 percent.

In other words, your weight is a much bigger risk factor than your genes, according to the study presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The answer here is simple: Lose weight and eat better, and your cancer risk will plunge even if you're genetically predisposed to the disease. You'll also enjoy overall good health, and a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and more.

I recommend a Mediterranean diet naturally low in saturated fats and loaded with many of the delicious foods you already love.

For more on the benefits, read this free report from my House Calls archives.

I'm not done with cancer yet. Keep reading for one potential cancer-causing substance you'll find in your bathroom.