Nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is a time to reflect on the most common cancer diagnosed in women with various events to promote awareness and prevention, as well as raise funds.
The Texas State Cancer Advocacy Movement for Colleges and Outreach (CAMCO) coordinated with fellow on-campus student organization FashioNation to host the fourth annual on-campus Bra Night and Fashion Show Wednesday. Representatives from 20 other student organizations strutted down a runway in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom wearing uniquely decorated bras and jeans.
The event was part of Central Texas Medical Center’s month-long “pink” initiatives and partnerships. The hospital is providing 100 free mammograms to eligible participants during its extended hours of 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month. Those interested in scheduling an appointment can contact partner organization Community Action.
“Because early detection is key for winning the fight against breast cancer, we want to provide a more convenient opportunity for women to get their yearly mammograms,” said Clay DeStefano, administrative director of PR and marketing for CTMC, in a statement.
Mammograms are believed by most professionals to be the most effective preventative measure against breast cancer. Hospital officials encourage residents and students to attend the Mammo Mixer held today at CTMC to make the mammogram process more exciting.
Since 2008, CTMC has helped raise more than $70,000 for breast cancer prevention efforts, and more than $19,000 was raised last year.
Sharon Jones, education junior, said she never considered getting a mammogram until her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago. It was “surprising” news for Jones because her aunt is a Phoenix-based oncologist.
“You would think that she would be on top of it, but, you know, it can happen to anybody,” Jones said.
Jones’ aunt had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Although her aunt is in her late 40s, Jones said she has considered getting tested for her genetic risks. Jones may have good reason for being cautious because approximately every three hours a woman in Texas dies from breast cancer, according to Texas Oncology.
The Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society, among others, recommend that women begin scheduling annual mammograms at 40, although not all organizations agree on these guidelines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 percent of women who were age 40 or older in 2010 had a mammogram within the past two years.
People can continue to “think pink” this month with other area events like Saturday’s Pink Fest in Wimberley and next Saturday’s Tommy Bahama’s Shop for a Cause at the San Marcos Premium Outlets.
The Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sponsored a “pink-out” of last Saturday’s football game, encouraging patrons to dress in the color to support breast cancer research and awareness.
The Josh Abbott Band will perform at the Central Texas Speedway in Kyle Saturday. They will be donating a dollar from each ticket sold to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Additionally, the band will match each donation made for every patron who wears pink to the show.