October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Written by May Warren

According to the Canadian Cancer society, the average Canadian woman has a 1 in 9 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is also the most common cancer in women.

It is statistics like that have prompted Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which spans the month of October. Goals of the awareness campaign include educating women about early detection ands screening, providing information and support to women living with the disease and funding breast cancer research.

On campus, senior peer helpers in conjunction with the Wellness Centre will be coordinating activities surrounding Breast Cancer awareness throughout the month of October.

“This week we set up a display in the UC with information about breast health,” says senior peer helper Kelly O’Rourke.

O’Rourke reports that prominent cancer activist Sue Richards will meet with senior peer helpers and the group will be selling her Breast of Canada calendars throughout October. Net Proceeds will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network. The calendars feature artistic photographs and are designed to promote better breast health.

“Our group also sent a team to Run for the Cure and raised nearly 500 dollars,” adds O’Rourke.

“Run for the Cure started downtown at St-George's and went to Exhibition Park. the wellness centre team consisted of about twelve students and we raised over 600 dollars in just one morning of canvassing for donations!” says Jessica Fleming, a Guelph student who participated in the event.

“Breast Cancer is a health issue, a women's issue, and a world issue. we are all responsible for raising awareness and inspiring each other to end the fight against breast cancer”, she adds.

Although breast cancer often strikes after fifty it is still important for university age women to be aware of this problem.

“I think it is an important issue for people our age, both males and females,” says fourth year Science student Lisa Smithson.

“As a relative of a breast cancer victim, this issue really hits home,” Smithson reports. “If we are aware of the issue we can educate our families about the importance of early detection, and protect ourselves. ”

“I challenge anyone to find a woman, even a young woman, who has not been touched by breast cancer in her life, either by a friend or family member's experience,” adds Fleming.

“Healthy breasts start before the age of 40. young women need to develop routines now that can save their lives later,” she continues, stressing the importance of monthly breast exams, yearly physicals and healthy lifestyle choices as weapons in the fight against the disease.

“You don't have to got to extremes to help with the fight against breast cancer. Small steps make the biggest difference,” Fleming reports.

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