Know your family history; a simple yet crucial statement that served as the theme for MU’s fifth Annual Breast-a-Ville, which occurred on Oct. 7 on Student Memorial Center Promenade. The event created through the Breast Health Initiative consisted of 17 exhibitors that had the mission of educating students and faculty on many issues related to health and well-being, with the main call-to-action to spread knowledge in identifying breast health and cancer issues.
“My hope was for both men and women to have an awareness of how much breast cancer is affecting the world, how easily they could get breast cancer and how important self-breast exams are to help with early detection of breast cancer,” states Tina Waters, one of the event’s many organizers and MU Health Services Graduate Assistant.
Breast-a-Ville provided students and faculty with different vendors that were ready to spread the word about issues relating not only to breast health and cancer, but healthy lifestyle choices in general. The participants could learn how to properly track their family history when it comes to cancer and genetic illnesses as well as how to give themselves a thorough self-breast exam that could save their life or the life of someone close to them.
For those wanting to earn a free Breast-a-Ville t-shirt, they could get a ‘Breast-a-Ville passport’, which would have to be stamped by 10 out of 14 organizations and/or activities including No Phone Zone, LGH Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, Penn State Hershey Breast Center, Relay for Life and MU Mini-Thon. Even free flu-shots were offered to protect students in the upcoming flu-season.
The event was first created in 2010 by MU professor, Dr. Dennis Denenberg, in memory of his sister, MU alumni Diana Denenberg Durand, whose life tragically ended due to breast cancer. Dr. Denenberg states, “We want young people to learn about how to do correct self-exams and to spread that message to their family and friends. We know that if breast cancer is detected early, a person can live a quality life as they fight the cancer.”
According to breastcancer.org, in 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Millersville sophomore Caitlin Brown, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, has been closely affected by the devastation breast cancer can have on a family. Wearing a pink breast cancer awareness t-shirt, Brown discusses why it is crucial that students should become more knowledgeable about proper breast exams when stating, “20 is the age that you should start doing self-breast exams.
Many people do not start doing them until it is too late and that’s a shame.”
For more information about breast cancer and Millersville efforts please visit, http://www.millersville.edu/healthservice. For video, please visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeWRyvlgPtc&app=desktop .