Breast Health Awareness

Breast Cancer Facts

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for American Indian and Alaska Native women
  • Approximately 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime
  • Native women have a 7% higher cancer rate compared to non-Hispanic white women
  • Native women have a 10% higher death rate compared to non-Hispanic white women
  • Approximately 30% of Native women in Minnesota present late stage breast cancer

Screening Guidelines

  • Women ages 40 to 44 have the option to start annual breast cancer screening
  • Women ages 45 to 54 should have a mammogram once every year 
  • Women age 55 and older should switch to mammograms every two years or can continue yearly screening

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years. Native women should always talk to a doctor or nurse right away if she notices any changes in her breasts.




Learn from the wisdom of our Native breast cancer warriors. Read their survivor stories here.



Pink Shawls

Pink Shawls are made to honor and remember all of our relatives who have faced or are currently facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Community champions create them to help educate American Indian and Alaska Native women about the importance of breast health and early cancer detection, while giving community members the opportunity to make their own. Pink Shawls are typically worn at community events to symbolize the many Native warriors who have survived the cancer journey. 


Raise awareness of breast cancer in Indian Country by celebrating #IndigenousPink Day! Join AICAF every third Thursday in October to encourage loved ones to get screened and help spread the word about early detection.