More than 25 people participated in the hour-long event in the LBJ Student Center, which included a panel of local health care professionals and breast cancer advocates.
Perreda Manor, a Komen Austin volunteer for the speaker’s bureau, said Think Pink is a way to get people talking.
Manor said in some cases parents do not talk to their children about getting routine breast exams, and younger people are more likely to listen and talk to their peers. She said by getting youths to talk to their parents about breast cancer, more people are becoming aware.
Abel Galaviz, practicing general surgeon in San Marcos, said he has only treated two patients in their twenties with breast cancer in his 27 years of practice. Both were Texas State students. He said less than 1 percent of women in their twenties are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Manor said age and gender are the two biggest factors in being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Women more than 40 years of age should be getting a mammogram every year, and women between 20 and 40 years of age should have an exam every three years.
Jenn Hatch, marketing and communications manager for Komen in Austin, said she has a very personal connection to the organization.
Hatch said her mother is a breast cancer survivor. Her aunt and grandmother both lost their battles with breast cancer. Hatch is a true negative, meaning she does not carry the cancer gene.
Galaviz said there are two mutated human genes that can cause breast cancer: BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Men and women could pass these genes to their children. Galaviz said 5 percent of breast cancer cases have been passed down through these genes.
Testing for these genes has become very costly, and in some cases insurance companies do not cover the costs, Galaviz said.
Claudia Cantu, Texas State alumna, works with Community Action Inc. of Central Texas to help patients complete recommended treatment. Cantu aids patients without insurance in overcoming barriers like paying bills and getting transportation to-and-from appointments.
Galaviz said cost is a “real, real, real problem now.”
“You know your own body better than anybody,” Galaviz said. “If you have a breast lump, don’t let money get in the way.”