Links to topics:

Breast surgery education sessions offered at Breast Health Centre
Health includes emotional, spiritual and mental well-being
What is normal? Breasts come in all shapes and sizes
What causes breast pain?
Breast changes you need to talk with your health-care provider about
What causes breast changes?
An important part of your breast health is knowing how your breasts look and feel
Let's get physical!
Free education sessions at Breast Health Centre on nutrition and lifestyle
What is lymphedema, what to watch for and how to manage it
Is eating soy good or bad for the breast?
How you can get an appointment at the Breast Health Centre
Extra weight matters
Your diagnosis of breast cancer is life-altering; The social worker at the Breast Health Centre can help
You have the power to lower breast cancer risk
Smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer
Drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. What is the size of your drink?
Eating a healthy diet helps to reduce your risk of breast cancer
Sit less and move more to help reduce risk of breast cancer by 25 to 30 per cent Reduce your risk of breast cancer and improve your health at the same time!
To B or not to B. What do the 3 Bs have to do with breast health?

Breast surgery education sessions offered at Breast Health Centre

Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer is never easy. There are two sessions offered regularly. The Before Surgery session covers information that will help you prepare for the breast surgery and supports available. At the After Surgery session, you will learn about cancer treatments, nutrition and exercise. Anyone with a diagnosis of breast cancer can attend. For more information, visit http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/sessions.php.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJfXP-VmIGo&feature=youtu.be

Videos of the information sessions http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/Videos.php

Back to top

Happy-looking woman in a field of green grass.

Health includes emotional, spiritual and mental well-being

Often when people think of health, the focus is on physical well-being. Although this is very important, other key aspects of health include your emotional and spiritual well-being, which can be easily be overlooked. A connection to your mind, body and spirit are key to your overall wellness. It is important to have supportive, caring relationships around you and to look for ways to manage stress in your life. Strategies that may help include positive self-talk, taking time to care for yourself and focusing on the things that are going well for you. Talk to your health-care provider if you are looking for support with your emotional and spiritual well-being.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxRdRklmt4A&feature=youtu.be

First B of breast health: be healthy
http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health Resource Guide
https://mbwpg.cmha.ca/resources/mental-health-resource-guide-for-winnipeg

Back to top

Photo of three women.

What is normal? Breasts come in all shapes and sizes

Every woman’s breasts are different. Breasts come in different sizes and shapes and these differences may be normal for you. You may have one breast larger than the other. Your nipples can be flat instead of pointing out. You may have hair growing around the areola or nipple area or areolas can be different colours, shapes and sizes. Breasts can have stretch marks or breast swelling and tenderness especially around your menstrual cycle. There can be non-cancerous lumps and some types of nipple discharge. Current evidence suggests knowing how your breasts look and feel and knowing what your normal is at different times in your cycle, is an important part of breast health and can be a part of healthy practices and a key to your overall health.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY2ZYlcuGUQ&feature=youtu.be

Know your body, know your breasts http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Photo of a woman with a red flare over one breast, indicating pain.

What causes breast pain?

Breast pain is a common concern and not usually caused by cancer. It can happen at anytime and is not always related to the menstrual cycle. It can be in both breasts, one breast, or in only one part of the breast. At times, the pain can go to other areas such as the armpit or down the arm. The cause of breast pain is unknown. It may be related to hormonal changes, fibrocystic changes in the breast, and cysts in the breast, breast surgery or irritation to the breast bone or rib. Breast pain may also be caused by wearing a bra that does not fit well. Seeing a trained bra fitter can help get the right fit and support for you. You should see a health care provider about any breast pain that does not go away, gets worse, and prevents you from sleeping or doing regular activities.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQjbZmUz_Mk&feature=youtu.be

Breast Pain Fact Sheet http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/files/Materials-BreastPain.pdf

Know your body, know your breasts http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Breast changes you need to talk with your health-care provider about

Some breast changes need to be assessed by your health-care provider. These changes could be a lump in the breast that is not normal for you, a lump that is new and/or doesn’t go away. It could be a change in the size, shape or colour of your breast, a change in the way your nipple looks, an eczema-type rash on the nipple, or any nipple discharge. Other changes to look for would be puckering or dimpling of the skin, skin that looks like an orange or feels very thick. It is important not to ignore these signs and symptoms even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. All of these changes should be assessed by your health-care provider.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfPwVpGNw6s&feature=youtu.be

Know your body, know your breasts http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

What causes breast changes?

Breasts change over a person’s lifetime. Many breast changes are caused by hormone levels in your body going up and down. These changes often occur in the early teens, during pregnancy, during breastfeeding and as women age and go into menopause. You are encouraged to be aware of what your breasts look and feel like at different times in your cycle and recognize the changes in the body that hormones and age can create. Take time to look at your breasts in the mirror or while getting dressed. You can feel them when having a shower or applying lotion or lying down. Find a way that is comfortable for you and make it a part of your regular routine.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-FByMPoiIo&feature=youtu.be


Back to top

An important part of your breast health is knowing how your breasts look and feel

You may feel hesitant to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel. Not everyone is comfortable with their bodies, touching themselves or looking in the mirror. Knowing what is normal for your breasts may help you find any changes if they happen. If you see or feel a change, talk to your health-care provider. Try to make breast health a part of your regular routine. This can be as easy as looking and feeling your breasts while you are in the shower, looking in the mirror while getting dressed, putting on lotion, or while lying in bed.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXZqg4y2Lu4&feature=youtu.be

Know your body, know your breasts http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Breast health stories http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/b...

Back to top

Let's Get Physical!

Let's Get Physical is a free exercise program for those with breast cancer-related lymphedema (swelling of arm, chest or breast). Research suggests that exercise reduces the risk of developing lymphedema and helps to manage the symptoms. It also leads to an improved overall feeling of well-being. Not sure where to start?  Let’s Get Physical is for people who have had breast cancer with arm, chest or breast lymphedema. For information and to register call 204-235-3691 or visit http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/sessions.php.

To learn more about lymphedema, what you can do to help decrease your risk and where to get treatment, read this: http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/files/Lymphedema.pdf

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbiLPf5Dmfg&feature=youtu.be

Watch the information session about lymphedema https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlZda1Ikmc4    


Back to top

Photo of the eat well, get fit poster.

Free education sessions at Breast Health Centre on nutrition and lifestyle

There are two free nutrition and lifestyle programs offered at the Breast Health Centre in the evenings, three times a year. The Bone Health after Breast Cancer session is for those who have had breast cancer and want to reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis. The eight-week Eat Well, Get Fit and Live Well program is designed for those who want to improve their lifestyle through physical activity and healthy eating after completing cancer treatments. A dietitian, certified fitness instructor and a health coach provide practical information on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle. You will find additional information about these programs here.

 Additional resources:

Nutrition resources http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/breast-cancer-surgery-nutrition.php

Back to top

Photo of a question asking about lymphedema risk.

What is lymphedema, what to watch for and how to manage it

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymph fluid that may appear in the arm, hand, trunk, and chest areas on the same side as your breast cancer surgery or treatment. Symptoms to watch for include swelling, fullness, heaviness, tightness and aching. Talk to your health-care provider if you notice any of these changes. Lymphedema is a chronic condition that can be managed with proper care and a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about lymphedema, what you can do to help decrease your risk and where to get treatment, read this: http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/files/YourGuidetoBreastCancerrelatedLymphedemaFeb2016.pdf

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbiLPf5Dmfg&feature=youtu.be

Watch the information session about lymphedema https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlZda1Ikmc4    


Back to top

Is eating soy good or bad for the breast?

Soy can be part of a healthy diet. It is a good source of protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Studies show that eating one to two servings daily of whole soy foods, such as tofu, soy milk and edamame does not increase the risk of breast cancer and it may help reduce it. The protection is thought to come from consuming soy during childhood and adolescence. There is also good research to show that having these amounts of soy foods does not increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer returning or dying from breast cancer. For more information on soy and breast cancer call the dietitian at the Breast Health Centre at 204-235-3646 or visit http://www.aicr.org.

Additional Resources:

Eating foods high in plant estrogens after a diagnosis of breast cancer http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/files/EatingFoodsPlantEstrogens-bilingualJune2017.pdf

Pulse Canada http://www.pulses.org

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news/2013/130930-first-b-of-breast-health-be-healthy.php

Back to top

How you can get an appointment at the Breast Health Centre

The Breast Health Centre is a program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. It serves all Manitobans who have signs or symptoms of breast cancer or other breast health concerns. In a comfortable, non-hospital setting, the Centre provides a timely diagnosis, assessment, education, support and treatment along with linking patients to other appropriate care. A multidisciplinary team of breast health experts work together to provide comprehensive and individualized care, based on the best available evidence.

Most clients who come to the Breast Health Centre are referred by their health-care provider, but we also accept self-referrals. We do not provide regular breast screening services. Once a referral is received and the necessary information is gathered, the client will be contacted and given an appointment time.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeAkN2xYMak&feature=youtu.be

How to get an appointment http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/appointment.php

Referral guidelines for health care professionals http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/r...

Third B of breast health: be informed http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news/2013/130930-third-b-of-breast-health-be-informed.php

Back to top

Extra weight matters

The more weight a person gains over a lifetime the higher the risk of developing breast cancer. A realistic goal is to be a healthy weight by choosing a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity. Do not be tempted by fad diets with big promises. Not succeeding can lead to an endless cycle of poor eating habits disappointment, discouragement and low self esteem. Make health your goal, rather than focusing on weight loss.

For more information, visit http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjcRwHen1sA&feature=youtu.be

Learn more about healthy weight management http://www.wrha.mb.ca/prog/nutrition/...

Resources to help you reduce your risk http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/e...

First B of breast health - be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...
aiming

Back to top

Your diagnosis of breast cancer is life-altering; The social worker at the Breast Health Centre can help

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may feel anxious or scared about what this will mean for you and your family. At the Breast Health Centre, every person who receives a diagnosis of breast cancer connects with our registered social worker. The role of the social worker is to listen to how you may be feeling, to help you cope with these feelings, to connect you with additional supports you may need, and to assist with financial concerns and any disability forms you may have. Counselling can assist you in coping better and help you move forward to recovery. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCeyU518wQM&feature=youtu.be

Coping with breast cancer http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/breast-cancer-surgery-coping.php

Surviving breast cancer http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

CancerCare Breast & Gyne Cancer of Hope www.cancercare.mb.ca/hope

Canadian Mental Health Association Mental Health Resource Guide
https://mbwpg.cmha.ca/resources/mental-health-resource-guide-for-winnipeg/

Back to top

You have the power to lower breast cancer risk

You cannot control some risk factors for breast cancer, including being a woman, your age or your personal and family history of breast cancer. You cannot change starting menstruation early or going through menopause after age 55. You cannot change never being pregnant or having your first child after the age of 30. You cannot change having dense breasts, radiation to the chest area before the age of 30 or certain breast conditions. The good news is that there are other risk factors you can change. You can work toward a healthy body weight and being physically active. You can change your alcohol intake and smoking habits. Be patient with yourself, set realistic goals and make a personal plan. Talk with a health-care provider about your personal risk factors.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUcIpoBFXK8&feature=youtu.be

Resources to help you reduce your risk http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/e...

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Photo of woman's fist crushing pile of cigarettes.

Smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer

If you smoke or smoked in the past, you are at risk of developing breast cancer. This is also true for exposure to second hand smoke. Recent research shows your risk is even greater if you started smoking at a young age. There are many resources available for those who want to quit smoking. Choose the one that is most helpful for you. These can be found at http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/education-reducerisk-resources.php and on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website at http://www.cancer.ca.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAuRCyvvQcs&feature=youtu.be

Resources to help you quit smoking http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/prev...

Supports can help you quit smoking for good http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Quitting smoking can add years to your life http://www.wrha.mb.ca/wave/2009/05/sm...

Butt out http://www.wrha.mb.ca/wave/2011/01/re...

Avoid second hand smoke http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Resources to help you reduce your risk http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/e...

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Drinking alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. What is the size of your drink?

If you do drink alcohol, try to limit the intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. A drink of alcohol is defined as 12oz (360ml) of beer, 5 ounces (150ml) of wine or 1.5 ounces (45ml) of hard liquor. Ideas to lessen the amount of alcohol could be: adding soda water to a glass of wine to make a spritzer, enjoying a beer with lower alcohol content, ordering a non-alcoholic cocktail or substituting your drink for carbonated or fruit-flavoured water.

For more information, visit http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc/education-reducerisk-resources.php

Additional resources:

Watch the video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJh02W2NkTU&feature=youtu.be

Watch the booze http://www.wrha.mb.ca/wave/2011/01/re...

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Photo of woman and man looking at tablet while chopping vegetables.

Eating a healthy diet helps to reduce your risk of breast cancer

Eating a healthy diet with an emphasis on vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes will provide you with the many cancer-fighting compounds. These have the ability to affect some of the chemical changes in the body which can be harmful, such as inflammation and oxidation. Eating well will fuel your body so you will be strong and healthy and have the energy to be physically active. It will also help you achieve a weight that is healthy for you. Learn more by checking out the nutrition resources on our website http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/education-reducerisk-resources.php and by linking to http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca. (Food & Nutrition section located under the ‘Health’ tab).

Additional resources:

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI0AbLP9L-s&feature=youtu.be

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Photo of people in exercise class.

Sit less and move more to help reduce risk of breast cancer by 25 to 30 per cent

Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Any activity that causes you to sweat a little and to breathe harder is moderate activity, for example, brisk walking and bike riding. Being physically active helps manage weight, decrease body fat and reduce hormone levels that are thought to increase the risk. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. For example, park your car further away from where you need to go, get off the bus early and walk, use the stairs rather than an elevator, or meet a friend and go for a walk.

Check out http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/bhc/education-reducerisk-resources.php for some great resources that can help you become more active.

Additional resources:

Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALr_hi4K2ak&feature=youtu.be

First B of breast health: be healthy http://www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news...

Back to top

Photo of women cheering about reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Reduce your risk of breast cancer and improve your health at the same time!

There are known risk factors for breast cancer. The more risk factors you have, the greater the odds of developing it. Some of these risk factors you can change and some you cannot. Eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, avoiding alcohol or limiting the amount of alcohol and not smoking are risk factors you have control over. Cancer is a complex disease and no one action will guarantee you can prevent it. However, research shows the more of these changes you can make, the lower your risk. Decide what is the most important and realistic goal for you to start with and break it down into small steps. Any action is better than no action! Step by step, goal by goal, you will get closer to achieving a lifestyle that will help reduce the risk of breast cancer and other chronic diseases.

Learn more about the risk factors for breast cancer at http://www.wrha.mb.ca/bhc and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation website at http://www.cbcf.org.

Additional resources:

Watch the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaBy7h1ipdI&feature=youtu.be  

Back to top

To B or not to B. What do the 3 Bs have to do with breast health?

Being healthy involves choosing lifestyle habits to help decrease your risk of breast cancer.

Being aware means looking at your breasts, touching them and knowing how they change each month. If you are familiar with your breasts, you are more likely to notice changes. Being aware also involves understanding general risk factors and your personal risk factors for breast cancer.

Being informed means knowing where to get breast health information and support. Take time to speak to your health-care provider about yourself.

Additional resources

Watch the video (1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKa-Fnxo4Ig&feature=youtu.be

Back to top


The Breast Health Centre is a program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. From the assessment and diagnosis to treatment, the Breast Health Centre offers a range of services to support a person’s physical and emotional health.  Click here for more Breast Health Centre info.

Bookmark Email Print Share this on Facebook SHARE Share this on Twitter Tweet RSS Feeds RSS
Make text smaller Make text bigger
Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located on the original lands of Treaty 1 and on the homelands of the Metis Nation. WRHA respects that the First Nation treaties were made on these territories and acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Metis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

WRHA Accessibility Plan Icon
Wait Times
View the Winnipeg Health Region's current approximate Emergency Department and Urgent Care wait times.

View wait times
Find Services
Looking for health services in Winnipeg?

Call Health Links-Info Sante at 788-8200

Search 211 Manitoba

Explore alternatives to emergency departments at Healing Our Health System

Find a Doctor
Mobile App
Use your phone to find information about wait times and health services in Winnipeg. Download the Connected Care mobile app for iPhone today!

Learn more
Wave Magazine
The September / October 2018 issue of Wave, Winnipeg's health and wellness magazine, is now available online.

Read more
Contact Us
Do you have any comments or concerns?

Click here to contact us
Careers
The Winnipeg Health Region has a variety of career opportunities to suit your unique goals and needs.

Visit our Careers site
WRHA Logo Help| Terms of Use | Contact Us | En français