The Delta Iota chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., hosted a breast cancer awareness seminar in room 242 of Favrot Student Union Tuesday night. Sorority members talked about breast cancer signs and symptoms, how the cancer forms, tips to detect the cancer early on and possible risk factors.
In addition they had breast cancer survivors come and speak to the students about their experiences living and overcoming the cancer.
“Breast cancer is a cancer that forms in the breast tissue,” said Kendra Johnson.
The ladies discussed some symptoms of breast cancer including underarm lymph nodes, persistent changes in the breast, rashes, “pickling” of the breasts, inverted nipples and hot breasts.
“Know your breasts,” said Courtney Seltzer.
In order to treat the cancer a lumpectomy or mastectomy has to take place to get rid of the cancer stated Seltzer.
In 2009, there were over 40, 000 breast cancer related deaths. African- American women are more likely to get the cancer than Caucasian women.
Alcohol consumption, weight gain and menopause are some breast cancer risk factors, said Seltzer.
“Two drinks a day of any kind of liquor increases a person’s chance of getting cancer.
Bobbie Adams was the first breast cancer survivor to speak in the seminar.
She was diagnosed in 2003 with the cancer and at the age of 62, she’s able to tell her story today.
This wasn’t her first occurrence with cancer. In 1986 she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
“My faith in God, having a strong family and support system” got Adams through this tough period in her life.
She described her and her sister’s relationship as one as “thick as thieves,” which was a great source of help and inspiration for her.
She endured eight separate treatments and in her tenth year of fighting the cancer she took her last prescription.
Although she is not cancer free, she still receives milder treatments to continue to help her fight against the cancer.
Rixie Thompson was the second speaker of the evening. She is a 26- year survivor and thanked God for bringing her this far.
“When you grow through breast cancer, it’s not the same,” said Thompson, of life and a spirituality.
After going through her third treatment, Thompson explained how she had given up on life.
In a heartfelt story she told the audience how her husband told her if she didn’t want to live for herself, that he wanted her to live for him, which caused a sea of “aw”s in the crowd.
Thompson is currently in her third year of treatment after being completely cancer free for several years and then finding out she had cancer in her other breast.
She admitted that she wish she would’ve “cut” that breast off when she had the chance to, but was glad she caught the cancerous lump quicker than her first case.
Thompson encouraged the students to be knowledgeable of the cancer and to take the necessary precautions to detect it early on, so the chances of survival could be a lot greater.
She told the ladies that her cancer was discovered at age 23 and emphasized that it’s never too early to be concerned about breast cancer.