Although significant efforts have been made to achieve early detection and effective treatment, about 20 percent of all women with breast cancer die from the disease.
Breast cancer may be most common in those over 50, but a tumour could take more than 20 years to develop, according to Michelle Harvie, a researcher at South Manchester University Hospital.
'This means that many women in their 20s and 30s may already have, or be at risk of, pre-cancerous growths in their body,' he was quoted as saying by the online edition of the Daily Mail.
Harvie, who has researched the impact of nutrition on breast cancer, suggests women should start acting now, regardless of age.
Just five percent of those who develop breast cancer have a hereditary link to the disease. Environmental factors, such as pollution, are thought to be a small influence on risk.
The consensus among scientists is that a huge number of cases - about 90 percent - are caused by a person's lifestyle and that, by eating the right food, women can reduce dramatically the risk of developing the disease, Harvie said.
Losing weight can significantly decrease your risk of breast cancer. Heavier women have higher levels of cancer-promoting hormones, such as oestrogen and insulin, in their bodies.
This means the hormones are more likely to be taken up by breast cells where they can stimulate cancer growth. The large fat cells in heavier women also release great amounts of cancer-promoting substances, such as the hormone leptin, into the bloodstream.
Weight loss seems to correct these imbalances.
Women whose weight remains steady, or those who lose at least half a stone, between the ages of 30 and 50 have 40 percent less risk of cancer than women who gain weight.
Research has shown that breast cancer risk is 30-40 per cent lower among women who exercise regularly. Experts point out that on order to prevent breast cancer, it is advised to exercise moderately for 30-45 minutes, five times a week.