Campus organizations promote breast cancer awareness

Photo courtesy Augusta Health

Four days ago, the Gorgeouz Gamma Alpha chapter and Florida State University’s Big Sister Little Sister organization hosted an event called “ Girlz Night” to discuss the importance of self-examinations and self-care. The month of October is devoted to wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. The COVID-19 pandemic may have stopped student organizations from doing events on campus, but It has not stopped campus organizations from spreading awareness about breast cancer virtually.

To get the crowd involved and relaxed when speaking about breast cancer, the “Girlz Night” event began with  ice breakers. The speaker at this event was Dr. Veta Mobley, a Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University alumna and physician at FSU Health and Wellness Center, who explained how breast cancer often affects African American women. She stressed that women need to know their breasts to distinguish what is usual and what is unusual when it comes to the breast. She presented multiple details on various cancers, such as cervical cancer.

Zoe Baker , a member of the Gorgeouz Gamma Alpha chapter and a senior political science major at FAMU, talked about the main goal of the event “Girlz Night” and why it’s imperative for women to get breast examinations.

“The main goal of Girls Night was to bring awareness to breast cancer and early detection. This was in alignment with the American Cancer Society’s initiative, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We also discussed what self-care means. Self-care in the most holistic sense of the term includes things like completing self-exams of the breast or going to the doctor. Also, it’s imperative as young women to check our breasts because African American women are the most impacted by breast cancer. Being sure to check your breast often is important because cancer is best treated when it is detected early. It’s also essential to start getting mammograms because some cancers are microscopic at first, which the only mammography will detect cancer. Some men even can get breast cancer, ” Baker said.

Not only have campus organizations been promoting breast cancer awareness through events on Zoom but social media, including Instagram and Twitter. The FAMU chapter of Sistuhs has posted helpful information about breast cancer and how it has impacted many women every year by providing statistics. The informal flyer that was recently posted by Sistuhs is called “Breast Cancer & Black women, did you know?”

The FAMU chapters of Sistuhs incorporated flyer informing black women about breast cancer. Photo courtesy of Sistuhs, Inc.

Sistuhs has taken the time to educate its members as well as others to spread awareness and let people in the community know that breast cancer is real and needs to be treated as such.

Kyndal Perry , president of Sistuhs and a junior business administration major, said breast cancer can hit close to home.

“Breast cancer hits home for me. My older cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer, and thankfully, she beat cancer. My family and I make sure we walk during one of the breast cancer walks that are provided in our city at least once a year. Breast cancer is difficult. The support of your friends and family is needed. It is critical and necessary to make sure we stay up-to-date on our breast examinations, and we are persistently informing others about breast cancer,” Perry said.

The  FAMU Relay for Life Instagram page is acknowledging family and friends who are fighting cancer, passed from it, or survived it by families of the loved ones sending pictures and joyful messages to be presented on the FAMU Relay for Life page.

The FAMU Relay for Life also created a 10-day challenge on social media, celebrating the lives of those lost to breast cancer. The organization raises money for cancer research, with all donations going to the American Cancer Society.

Carly Griffin, a freshman biology pre-med student, said it is important to know how great cancer affects the community.

“As a community, it is vital to be proactive about our health and making sure that we are doing right by our bodies. As well as helping others get the resources to do the same because there is a multitude of women and men in our community who do not have those resources or the knowledge about illnesses, such as breast cancer leading to less preventive care and higher mortality rates. To effectively prevent and manage breast cancer gets screened, and doing self-examination annually, can help us women understand our bodies and any changes that may occur over time. We have to be willing to take the initiative to learn as well as giving back to the people in our community even if it’s donating to the cause or informing people about cancer,” she said.

About 42,170 women will die from breast cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.