October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” During this month, the Canadian Breast Cancer Society hosts fundraisers and events to help fund their research to hopefully one day find a cure for breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that is found in the breast cells and progresses in stages. It can sometimes last for several months or several years depending on the severity of your case. Did you know that there are 10,000 cases per year in Canada alone? All though it is more common in women, breast cancer can also be found in men as well. It is also more common for an induvial to get if there is a family history or if they have already had it in the past.
Statistic’s from the Breast Cancer Society shows that on average about 75 women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer and 14 of those women die from Breast Cancer everyday in Canada (see chart below). In 2020 alone, 27,400 women were considered new cases for breast cancer, which is 25% of cases in women this year. From those new cases, 5,100 women will die of breast cancer in 2020. This is 13% of all cancer deaths in women this year. As for the men, on average about 240 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 of those men die from breast cancer everyday in Canada (see chart below). In 2020 alone 2,620 men were considered new cases for breast cancer and approximately 520 men will die of Breast Cancer this year.
Credit: Canadian Breast Cancer Society Website: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/statistics/?region=on
But how do you know if you have any symptoms? If you’re a female, some of the most common ones can be a lump or a mass located in the breast that usually feels different then normal tissue, you could have a different size or appearance to your breasts, pain from your breasts, inverted or pulling of your nipple area, flaking skin appearing on the breast especially in the dark area around the nipple, redness also known as pitting of the breast skin making it look orange, and finally discharge from the nipple. If you’re a male, some of the most common symptoms are a lump or thickened area in your breast tissue, you could experience dimpling, puckering, redness or scaling on the skin of your breast and finally discharge from your nipple. in the likely event you are experiencing any of these symptoms male or female it is recommend to have periodic checkups with your family doctor.
But what about what causes breast cancer to occur? For females, it can be a wide range of things including family history, hormonal changes, growing age, personal history of breast cancer (if you have it in one breast it can increase the likelihood of you getting it in the other), ethnicity (usually people who are Hispanic, Black, or Asian background have a higher chance), lifestyle that can include too much alcohol consumption, exposure to radiations for a long period of time without protection, obesity and overweight problems, menarche (having your period at a younger age than supposed to be and experiencing menopause at an older age then expected), pregnancy (becoming pregnant at an older age or choosing to never be pregnant) and finally use of hormones that includes long term contraceptive or postmenopausal hormone therapy. As for the males, it is unclear what causes breast cancer to occur. However, doctors have said that male breast cancer happens when a males breast cells divide more rapidly then usual causing a tumor to grow and spread to other tissue in the breast as well as other parts of the body.
Now the big question is how can the Sheridan community help support this cause? Well SSU HMC Campus Vice President Gaby says that Sheridan SSU will be hosting virtual events online during the week of October 13th to October 16th 2020.
“We’ve collaborated with the other Vice Presidents and the Student Life Coordinators to do a Rock Painting Event. Where we’re painting rocks and doing it in the design of different breast cancer symbols, like the ribbon and anything really that resonated with the student in what they capture when they see Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our second one is a Paper Quilling Event. Our Student Life Coordinator Nishi is going to take us through a tutorial of how to make this beautifully intricate paper design. It will be incredible! On the Thursday night we are going to be doing a Trivia Night, where we’re inviting both a breast cancer fighter and one of the board representatives from the cancer society to come and speak to the students plus do a whole trivia night. It’s gonna be really really fun! Finally we are ending off the week with a Pink Party, where the whole dress code is pink. It’s gonna be a bingo night, we’re gonna have a DJ, it’s gonna be really really fun.” Gaby SSU Vice President of HMC Campus
Credit: SSU Website- https://www.thessu.ca/
Students can sign up online to patriciate in any of theses events. Gaby also mentioned some other ways students could help support the cause.
“There’s two ways in my mind. First it’s donations because if we donate and we support the cause it gives more money to the researchers to find certain chemicals and ingredients that have a positive interaction with cancer cells. So if we can help fund that research it will make a great difference. The second way I would say is starting that conversation. Starting the conversation that cancer is a part of many people’s lives whether it’s happening to them personally or not and finding ways to prevent the risk. For example there are so many different foods that have been proven to cancel the risk of having it by a large percent. Some foods that come to mind are blueberries, spinach and honey. There was a study that I saw on honey that said there’s bee venom that can help destroy cancer cells but not affect any other cells in your body. So honey is a great way to start the conversation without actually having bee venom and hurting the bees. There’s also a whole list that I went through online. I was gonna do a whole blog post on it so people could use these foods in smoothies. If you exercise as well it reduces the risk. So if we have that conversation and we have that awareness of how to prevent it as much as we can even if it is a hereditary issue that can make the difference.”
You can donate by going onto the Canadian Breast Cancer Society site and making a donation. you can also patriciate in some of the fundraisers by going to there website and checking out the dates for them. #sherthesupport #breastcancermonth