Thinking pink with breast cancer awareness

Noa Cadet | Staff Writer

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Gabryelle Awkard

 

As college students, our minds are lled with a plethora of different things: Our grades, our classes, what party we will attend this weekend and who might perform at Homecoming. We can be so caught up in our social lives and our college careers that we fail to consider our health and the pos- sibility of diseases like breast cancer.

But breast cancer is a real threat that could potentially affect anyone on campus, regardless of age or sex.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Hamp- ton University hosted the Think Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Event at the Harvey Library on Oct. 10. Speakers at the event emphasized the importance of being tested, potential means of con- tracting cancer and possible methods of treatment.

When a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, it means that certain cells in that person’s breast have become abnormal and multiplied, forming a tumor. One of the most dangerous things about breast cancer is that it doesn’t always exhibit clear symptoms throughout the early stages, nor does
it always cause pain. It isn’t until later that the signs begin to show, most com- monly in the form of a tumor growing in the breast.

People usually associate breast cancer with women, and that is true
to an extent, since breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with only skin cancer showing more cases. However, what

people often do not realize is that
men can also contract breast cancer; although men’s chances of doing so are lower, it is still a very real threat, and just as lethal. Today, cancer remains the second largest cause of disease-related deaths in the USA and other developed nations.

How could one possibly contract such a disease? Usually cancer is a spontaneous thing: critical cells mutate and multiply at a rapid rate, ultimately becoming a tumor. However, one of
the crucial messages of the Think Pink event was that breast cancer also can be inherited. This factor was highlighted at the event as the speakers reminded listeners of the importance of check- ing your family’s history to determine whether or not you are at risk of this form of cancer.

The key to treating breast cancer is awareness and timing. The earlier you are made aware of your diagnosis, the better your chances are of ridding yourself of cancer. When Hamptonians were asked after the Think Pink event why students should be well informed of the dangers of cancer, here is what our fellow students had to say:

Vashti Lindsey, a junior early ed- ucation major from Detroit, Michigan said, “I feel that it is important for you to know the dangers and importance of breast cancer because it can happen to anyone, male or female, at any age. It is also important to know your family’s history of breast cancer, or cancer in general. Young men and women should do breast exams on themselves to make sure they don’t have any lumps.”

Gabriel Lewis, a freshman busi-

ness management major from Mans- eld, Texas, also answered: “Cancer is not a thing to play with. The statistics show that 90 percent of breast cancer is curable, but for minorities, the percent- age to cure is lowered to the low 70s in terms of percentage[s]. Having more information, and knowing the early

Gabryelle Awkard

warning signs, increases the chance of survivability in minorities.”

With today’s resources, breast can- cer is capable of being prevented and treated before it spreads. We can lower the death rates of cancer as a whole, as long as we stay informed and in tune with our bodies.

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