Breast Health Awareness

Pink Shawls

Pink Shawls educates American Indian women about breast health while providing them an opportunity to create their own Pink Shawl.  Pink Shawls are made to honor and remember community members who have battled breast cancer.  The shawls are worn at community events to honor those people, show that women survive breast cancer and to increase awareness about breast cancer.

Cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence—early detection increases survival.

Indigenous Pink Leadership Program

The Indigenous Pink Leadership Program for American Indian communities:

  • Offers regional training and technical assistance in tribal and urban communities.
  • Mobilizes community health staff to develop the necessary capacity and skills to enhance breast health and screening education.
  • Recruits community health staff to be trained as Pink Shawls Leaders.
  • Provides tools and resources to deliver Pink Shawls group education sessions in their community.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women
  • Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death for American Indian women
  • 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime
  • American Indian women have a 7% higher cancer rate than non-Hispanic white women
  • American Indian women have a 10% higher death rate than non-Hispanic white women
  • ~30% American Indian women in MN present late stage breast cancer

Screening Guidelines

  • Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so
  • Women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year
  • Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 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

Tell a doctor or nurse about any changes in your breasts right away. Breast self-exam is an option for finding breast changes.


Support breast cancer awareness with us every October for #IndigenousPink Day! Indigenous Pink Day is a great way to raise breast cancer awareness for AI/AN people, keep an eye out for more information as we get closer to October 2018.