More students take part as FAMU provides free breast exams

The Student Health Services Center hosts “Go Pink” event to offer free breasts exams.
Photo by Youdline Joseph

Florida A&M’s Student Health Center offered free breast exams last Tuesday and Thursday. Many female students came to check their status.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this month individuals take the time to honor the victims and promote an increase in awareness of this disease. 

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Men can also get breast cancer too. It is estimated that approximately 2,190 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer annually.

Psychology student Shannon Smith returned this year to support the health center and also receive her breast exam. 

“I think it’s a great idea that they are doing this. I’m also glad that many more people attended this event this year; it shows how serious others are now taking this issue,” Smith said. 

More students took part in the event this year, with students bringing in friends to support them and also get checked. 

Although breast cancer rates are low for women under 40, it is still advised that young women who are at high risk and have a family history of the disease be checked. 

Everlena Baulkmon, Student Health Services program coordinator, welcomed the annual event and to serve the students.

“We host this event on campus for the young ladies on campus who do not go to the doctor on a regular basis. We assume if we host it on campus more girls will attend. All in all, we have a passion to serve our students and we want them to receive the best service possible,” Baulkmon said.

FAMU nurse practitioner Natasha Hester has seen firsthand how breast cancer can affect families and, most of all, the individual. 

“One of my friends found out when she was 29 that she had breast cancer and she had to get her breasts removed. It was very traumatizing for her. Sometimes people don’t think about it until it begins happening to them or someone who is close to them,” Hester said.

Everyone should know about their health in general, whether you are female or male. Matthew Knowles, the father of Grammy-winning singer Beyonce, discovered he had breast cancer earlier this year after finding blood on his shirt. 

It is important to not only raise awareness about this cancer but to also take the initiative to get tested.