Assoc. Features Editor
The month of October is full of symbols and colors. Traditionally, October is thought of as an orange month—from the pumpkins and gourds that wear this color, to the orange leaves that scatter the streets and the Halloween-themed spooks. However, intertwined with all of the orange and the other festive October looks, you can find small pink ribbons shining through. This is because October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
While Breast Cancer Awareness is a year-long campaign to educate people on what exactly breast cancer is, the focus of this month is to inform others on how to take the right steps to detect this specific cancer, states the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
It is important to raise awareness as to how women in their home can check for lumps because, sadly, this is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, which is over 220,000 women a year in the United States, explains the NBCF. As rare as it is, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer, with an estimated 2,150 each year.
The best way to stay alert for breast cancer is by giving yourself a monthly breast examination. However if this is something you’re not comfortable with, your local health care provider can help you with this. According to the NBCF, common signs and symptoms of breast cancer are a change in feeling to the breast or nipple (tenderness, change in skin texture, or finding a lump in the breast), a change in the appearance of breast or nipple, and/or any nipple discharge, particularly if it is clear or bloody. While having these symptoms may not mean you have breast cancer, it is always important to go to your health care provider to have them further examine these signs.
Millersville University has been making important efforts against breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Awareness program began after Dr. Dennis Denenberg, a professor emeritus, made a donation to the university in honor of his sister, Diana Denenberg Durand, an alumna of Millersville who courageously fought an 18-year battle with breast cancer, explains Lancaster Online.
Denenberg’s donation has been used to provide a breast cancer resource room, known as the Diana and Marsha Breast Cancer Awareness Center, to educate students and local community on the disease. This room can be found on the second floor of the Health Services building, which is located on McCollough Street.
In honor of Diana, her brother Dennis also started the Diana Denenberg Spirit Garden located in the courtyard of Stayer Education Building. There was also the 4th annual Breast-a-ville that educated students on the importance of breast health and breast cancer awareness and prevention. If you’re concerned about breast cancer and the health of your breasts, stop by Health Services, located in the Witmer Building, to receive the facts on breast cancer and any guidance you may need.