Campus groups team up to host breast cancer walk

Photo by Pauline Park

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ramapo’s Biology Club and Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity hosted “Walk for Breast Cancer” by the Arch this past Saturday.

Sophomore Michael Grune, a member of both the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Biology Club, said they held the walk “to become involved [and] to try to raise money for breast cancer awareness.”

There was a registration table where donations were taken to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Women. The hosts also set up a water table where they served water in pink cups to honor breast cancer awareness. Pink breast cancer awareness themed balloons decorated the Arch and the trail that wraps around campus.

Several members of both organizations participated in hosting the walk to honor their loved ones who have fought or are fighting breast cancer.

“My mom had breast cancer, and a lot of boys in this fraternity and the Bio Club also know somebody [with breast cancer]. We all know somebody,” Grune shared.

Taylor Pastorini, a senior in Sigma Sigma Sigma, said, “I am participating in this walk because it is a good cause. More money needs to be raised to find a cure.”

According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, or NBCF, “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women,” and therefore is the “most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.”

The NBCF also states, “Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.” Moreover, “On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.” There are over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today.

Breast cancer is not only restricted to women. The NBCF reports that approximately 2,470 men are diagnosed and 460 men die from breast cancer each year.

Luckily, there has been “a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older,” possibly due to, “the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause,” according to the NBCF and World Health Organization.

The NBCF also states, “When breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100 percent.” Self-examination and regular clinical exams are crucial in early detection. Breast cancer is diagnosed through tests such as the mammogram, ultrasound, MRI and biopsy.

There are many myths surrounding breast cancer. For example, there is a common misconception that consuming dairy will lead to breast cancer. According to NBCF, American Cancer Society, International Journal of Epidemiology and the Journal of American College of Nutrition, “Dairy consumption does not increase the risk of breast cancer.”

Another common myth is that a lump on the breast is automatically indicative of cancer. While a lump should never be ignored, the NBCF says, “Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer.”

The more informed of diseases and proactive a person is, the better chance he or she has of fighting them. The more the public knows about diseases, the more support they can give the fighters and survivors.