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How Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the U of M Goes Beyond the Color Pink

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NFL football players sport pink cleats, restaurants like Mellow Mushroom serve seasonal pink cocktails, and pink ribbons are draped around thousands of trees across the nation. Pink is in the consciousness of the American people during the month of October. However, Talia Scott, the monthly series chair of the Student Activities Council, says it is important for people to know that breast cancer awareness goes beyond the color pink. Accordingly, on Wednesday Oct. 4, the Student Activities Council hosted an event to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the UC atrium.

Early in the semester, Scott pitched the idea for the SAC to offer a Polaroid photo booth opportunity to promote breast cancer awareness and reassure students that if detected early, cancer, and breast cancer especially, is not a death sentence and hope exists. However, early detection is crucial.

“Attracting people with a photo booth and the color pink is a way of getting people to think about breast cancer and potentially encourage them to do their own research,” Scott said.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, occurring in one in every eight women in the U.S. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage is vital to the patient’s chances of recovery, which is a major reason why promoting awareness is so significant. When breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%, according to data collected by the American Cancer Society. Increased awareness of breast cancer and its symptoms can be the difference between life and death for women who are affected by this disease. The American Cancer Society Women encourages women 40 years old and above to get regular breast exams and mammograms.

Although breast cancer does not discriminate, Scott placed an emphasis on the fact that breast cancer is more prominent in the black community. Some theories as to why these racial disparities exist include limited access to healthcare and systematic racism within the healthcare system. African-American women in the U.S. have a 40 percent mortality rate and are twice as likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than White women, according to statistics provided by the American Cancer Society. Scott continued, explaining how advocating for yourself in healthcare is critical, which is why providing awareness and resources matters.

Although the Student Activities Council has done events like this before, a photo booth has never been done in previous years. The booth operated between 1 and 3 p.m. and achieved a turnout of 53 individuals, which met the satisfaction of the SAC. In collaboration with Tigers for St. Jude, SAC is scheduled to co-host the “No More Cancer” rally later this month on Monday, Oct. 30. In addition, Talia Scott encourages students to attend the Tigers football game, where there will be a free T-shirt giveaway, on Friday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m.

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