By Lisa Nault
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Simmons College began the week by providing students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to show their support.
For the sixth year in a row, Fit at Simmons invited the community to join a team for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk. The walk has been an annual event in Boston for 24 years and continues to draw a large crowd each year.
According to the “Boston Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Facebook page, there were 40,000 people who participated in the 3 to 5 mile walk this past sunday. The walk raised roughly $2 million and the organization is still accepting more donations.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S. Also, it is ranked second in cancers that lead to women’s deaths, the first being lung cancer. According to the “Making Strides” website, there are more than 3.1 million people in the U.S. who are breast cancer survivors. These walks help educate the public about the detection/testing of the cancer, show support for those who have lost someone to it, and celebrate those who can now declare themselves survivors.
Simmons students who signed up for the walk through OSLA received a team t-shirt. Despite the light rain sunday, they left campus at 7:30 a.m. and took the T to the Hatch Shell. Throughout the day, performances were held, including Courter Simmons from the musical Jersey Boys singing “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and the Emmanuel College dance team. Along the walk, people were cheered on by volunteers, given water, and at the end received bags of healthy snacks to eat.
While the cause is great and the event raised a large amount of money, there are still issues that need to be thought about as Breast Cancer Awareness month continues.
For starters, breast cancer does not only happen to ciswomen. Men, trans-women, non-binary individuals, and more are also capable of being diagnosed. Simply speaking about this particular cancer’s effect on only one group of people is misleading and inaccurate. In order to truly educate others, we as a community must speak about it in a more inclusive form.
Another issue that needs to be addressed this month, as a society, is to not focus on “saving the titties.” The goal is to save the entire person, not just a part of them. While people enjoy wearing shirts/buttons with this phrase on it, the message is not good and it attributes breast cancer to female bodies only.
To learn more about breast cancer, check out Nursing@Simmons online. They provide information regarding breast cancer tests, how to detect it, how to treat it, and resources that are available for patients and their loved ones.