A lesson in detecting breast cancer

When breast cancer is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

But many young women wait until it’s too late to get mammograms, said Chodaesessie Morgan, a researcher at the Department of Community Health Education for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Institute.

Since October is dedicated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, USF will hold an educational seminar Tuesday, entitled “Test Your Breast.”

The event will be held in front of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, at Patio Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The primary goal of this event is to educate women early in order to prevent or at least detect breast cancer before full onset,” said Vince Faridani, director of health and human services for Student Government. “Even if one person walks away and starts doing self-breast examination, then our goal has been accomplished”

Velma Joseph, a member of Volunteer USF and the women’s issues department said she helped plan the breast cancer awareness event because it can affect all women.

“As young females we should be aware of the problem now; therefore, when we get older, we know what to look for,” said Joseph. “I wanted to be involved, to educate others and to spread the word. A lot of people think it won’t affect them.”

Representatives from the Moffitt Center, University Community Hospital and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit, Texas-based corporation, will be at the event to supply information and answer questions. A model of a breast will be used to demonstrate the correct way to give breast examinations.

Morgan, who is working on her doctorate in public health, said she recommends that students learn everything they can about breast cancer. She added it’s important to read about the subject and to stay familiar with the topic.