A former member of the Japanese idol group SKE48 who recently had breast cancer surgery is urging women to have regular checkups for the disease.
Miki Yakata had an operation in April at the age of 25. She spoke at an event to promote awareness of breast cancer on Sunday in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture.
Yakata told the audience that she cried out of fear at first, but calmed down after learning more about the disease.
She said she felt depressed many times, but she began to realize that her experience could help others.
Yakata said some women continue to work while receiving treatment, and she wants breast cancer checks to become a routine part of life.
The "Pink Ribbon" campaign, which stresses the importance of early detection, has designated October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.