Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast tissue. Breast cancer begins as a lump so small that it may not be felt. Breast cancer usually affects women and is very rare in men.

What can I do to reduce the risk of breast cancer?

  • Reduce or stop smoking. For help, talk to a health care provider, visit, or call the Nunavut Quitline at 1-866-368-7848.
  • Follow the Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines for alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a variety of country foods or healthy store-bought foods. You can use the Nunavut Food Guide to help you make healthy eating choices.
  • Be active every day or most days
  • Visit the health centre for annual checkups

What is a mammogram?

Sometimes, a health care provider may recommend a mammogram test. A mammogram is a test that looks for lumps that might be breast cancer. In Nunavut, mammograms are used to test women who are at risk for breast cancer or when someone finds a lump.

Some mammograms can be done in Iqaluit. Sometimes mammograms are done during a visit to a southern health centre.

When should I speak with a healthcare provider?

If you experience the following signs and symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider.

  • A lump in the armpit or breast
  • Changes in the shape, size, and feel of the breast
  • Changes to the skin of the breast

For more info about breast cancer, talk to a health care provider at your community health centre or visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.