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Google Supports Breast Cancer Awareness With New Assistant Features

Now you can say, "Hey Google, set an annual reminder to get my breast exam" and choose the date you want to be reminded by your Assistant.

Two white coffee mugs that have "Hey Google" written on them
Hey Google Google Assistant voice controls hey-google
James Martin/CNET

To help raise awareness about the importance of early detection for breast cancer diagnoses, Google is building features into Google Assistant to encourage people to protect themselves against breast cancer, according to a blog post Wednesday from the company.

Now, when you use Google's virtual assistant software in the US, you can ask it questions about breast cancer and it will provide you with relevant information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, even if you ask your Assistant a simple question like "what's up?" or "how are you?," the Assistant will respond with information about breast cancer, Google said.

"If you're prone to putting off your checkups, just tell your Assistant, 'Hey Google, set an annual reminder to get my breast exam on [date]'," Google said in the blog post. "If you say, 'Hey Google, tell me about Breast Cancer Awareness Month' or 'Give me a Breast Cancer Awareness fact' in the US, you'll receive facts from the CDC about the critical importance of early detection and mammography."

About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, but breast cancer is often "more likely to be found at a later stage, and is often more aggressive and difficult to treat," according to the CDC.

The new Assistant features are part of Google's ongoing effort to encourage early detection and screenings for breast cancer. Earlier this year, the tech company documented a successful effort by one of its AI models for identifying breast cancer in mammograms previously missed by radiologists.