As many of us know, the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is a time to raise awareness for those who've suffered with the illness; we also celebrate survivors and encourage the continuous fight toward a cure. It is estimated that 220,000 women and 2,150 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and at one time, one of these people were my great-grandmother.
This cause is near and dear to my heart because of her. She was my best friend, and was an eight-year survivor when she died. I went to the race with her every single year for almost a decade after she was cancer-free. With the statistics of breast cancer being so high, it is not unlikely that most families know a friend or family member that has or has had the disease as well.
In the area, more specifically at the University of Southern Indiana (USI), we raise awareness for those in our own community that have battled with this life-threatening disease. We are sick and tired of seeing our loved ones battle cancer. We are tired of not being able to help and not being in control of the mutated cells in their body.
To see a family member or friend go through this is the worst; so, we raise money. Every year we make donations to Susan G. Komen or to any fundraiser supporting breast cancer so the doctors can one day say, "You do not have to face this battle anymore because we can treat this disease. You are curable and you will be fine. You will live."
Every year, the University of Southern Indiana creates a team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They raise money for the cause and will walk or run on the day of the race. The 2015 Evansville Race for the Cure raised $104,698.63.
After speaking with Brandy Sitzman, MHA and Practice Manager at the USI University Health Center about what they offer in terms of breast health, she said they offer self-breast exam education and demonstration when needed.
Melissa, USI's nurse practitioner, can also show you how to do the examination during pap smear appointments. It is never too early to make a detection plan, and it is always good for your health to know how to properly check yourself for anything!
The University Health Center is located in Room 0091 in the lower level of the Health Professions Center on the north side of the USI campus.