October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which signifies the prevalence of the disease and raises awareness for it.
The Women of Color Leadership Institution hosted a “Paint like Picasso” event on October 26 at Read Hoosier Den.
Event organizer and IU junior Anaijah Dunn directed attendees to paint breast cancer themed butterflies.
“‘Paint like Picasso’ is a tradition we host every year in honor of breast cancer awareness month,” Vice President Tamia Traice said. “We also write uplifting letters to those who are battling breast cancer and survivors.”
The on-campus organization focuses on promoting all women of color by empowering them with the skills and knowledge needed to foster academic success. The organization looks to empower Black women by bringing awareness to issues that affect the Black community.
In the U.S. breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among women with a one in eight chance an American woman will develop the condition. However, research has shown death rates have declined 40% from 1989 to 2016 due to early detection.
Black women are affected by more aggressive types of breast cancer with both biology and lack of resources playing a role.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “disparities in cancer care can be improved several ways, by creating statewide cancer screening programs that are accessible to underserved populations.” By having access to these programs, more women would be encouraged to go get screened.
Women of all ages are encouraged to perform self-exams at least once a month. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” You can perform a self-exam in the shower, in front of a mirror or while laying down, checking for any lump, hard knots, thickening or unusual changes in that area.