Work Well

Work Well advocates for a culture of wellness for UND faculty and staff through innovative engagement opportunities.

October Wellness Spotlight

Think Pink! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Breast Cancer does not only affect women, as every 1 in 883 men can be affected in their lifetime. In 2022, an estimated 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US as well as 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells and typically forms in the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue with in your breast.



  • A breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surround tissue and has developed recently
  • Breast pain
  • Red, pitted skin over your entire breast
  • Swelling in part or all of your breast
  • Peeling, scaling, or flaking of skin on your breast
  • Lump or swelling under your arm
  • Sudden unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast


There are certain established risk factors that are associated with breast cancer including:

  • Genetic Risk Factors
    • Gender: Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men
    • Age: 2/3 women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55
    • Race: Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in Caucasian women than women of other races
    • Family history and other genetic factors: If your mother, sister, father, or child has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future
  • Environmental and Lifestyle Risk Factors
    • Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer
    • Poor diet: A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer
    • Being overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone thorough menopause
    • Drinking alcohol: The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk


While there are risk factors that cannot be controlled, following a healthy lifestyle may lower the chances of getting breast cancer.

Finding breast cancer early is key! Seeing your doctor annually for your Well-Women check may catch breast cancer or other cancers/diseases you may be at risk for. Have you had your Well-Woman check this year?