By Rhonda Powell |Staff Writer|
Every woman is at risk of getting breast cancer and that’s why it’s vital that information about breast cancer be easily obtainable for everyone in the general public.
In an effort to save lives of women around the world, October has been designated as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). It serves as a reminder of those who struggle through battling breast cancer everyday of their lives, and also their families who experienced their loved ones journey through the fight of breast cancer.
Greek organizations on campus, such as the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity (ZTA) contribute to raising breast cancer awareness to the student body by covering the campus with pink ribbons and tabling to encourage women to get tested.
ZTAs also contribute to the cause by going to San Diego Chargers games every year and presenting a giant pink ribbon during halftime in honor of those who are struggling against the fight of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is more common in women than men. Cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally and multiply, spreading throughout the body at an alarming rate.
According to Whathealth.com, “These cells then turn into tumors which is a mass of abnormal cells. Collectively these abnormal cells can form a tumor. If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body it is called metastatic or secondary breast cancer.”
Breast cancer awareness month initially was created to encourage women to get annual mammograms in 1985 as a form of early detection. There are three types of tests used for detecting breast cancer however, these tests have both their advantages and their disadvantages.
The first test is the Breast Self-Examination where women examine their own breast looking for lumps and changes in the shapes and sizes. This test can detect breast cancer in its early stages but unfortunately there are often no signs or symptoms.
The second test is the Clinical Breast Examination where a medical professional examines the woman’s breasts. This exam is exactly like the first one and the odds of finding lumps isn’t any greater for the professional.
The third exam used to detect breast cancer is the mammogram, which is the most efficient test available for detecting early breast cancer.
“The warning signs of breast cancer are usually visual and may include lumps found within the breast and nearby lymph nodes. Non-visual indicators include pain and skin irritation around the breast area. Self examination & regular breast screenings promote early detection of this disease which is crucial for a better prognosis,” according to Whathealth.com.
Although information is available year round, sisters Brittney and Casey Corsaro feel that mammograms should be free for those without medical insurance and cannot afford to pay for them.
“I think everyone should get checked for it, prevention is the key,” said Corsaro.
Organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation are just a few associations that provide women with information and services to aid in fighting breast cancer.
Age is a significant factor for a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer as the risks increase with age.
According to the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012, “If your current age is 20 you have a 1 in 1,681 chance of getting breast cancer, by age 30 you have a chance of 1 in 232 of getting breast cancer.”
The more encouragement on awareness, means more help in prevention.