The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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South Asian Club promotes Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The South Asian Club at CSUN is promoting breast cancer awareness during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is not a disease only women suffer.’ According to Claire Nixon, senior editor of and a breast cancer survivor, although approximately one percent of men are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is still something that both sexes should know about.

‘Women in their teens, women in their 20s, women in their 30s and men also are very important components (of breast cancer awareness),’ Nixon said. ‘The median age of diagnosis is 61 but there are more women being diagnosed in their 30s or even their 20s. That’s why… self breast exams and annual clinical breast exams are so important for women and the more awareness there is the better.’

Sunil Bakshi, senior and president of the South Asian Club, said this month was important to the organization because people in the South Asian community need to be made more aware of breast cancer.

‘Even us South Asians or Hindus as a population are very conservative, our women don’t even sometimes get a chance to go to the doctor,’ Bakshi said. ‘It can affect them and we are concerned because there are a considerable amount of South Asians in the Valley. A lot of them have just come out of India and they just don’t know how anything can affect them. It’s out there and it can affect them and it isn’t anything small or minute.’

The South Asian club hopes to pass the message of breast cancer awareness through word of mouth by helping students becoming aware of breast cancer, how to detect it early and then share that information with friends and relatives.

‘The kids that come to the university who learn about this will take the news back and say I will probably get a check up and you guys should too,’ Bakshi said.’ ‘Without something like this on campus I really don’t think there would be an effective way of getting the message (out).’ When we decided to do this, we wanted people to know that this is something serious, it affects a lot of people, it is fatal in many cases and can lead to a lot of complication but its something that people first need to be made aware of.’

Mirshila Chand, first-year grad student and main organizer of the breast cancer awareness event, said the club’s main message is that breast cancer affects all different types of people, no matter what ethnicity or gender, and everyone should be doing self breast exams on a regular basis.

‘In 2008, there (are 182,460) estimated new cases of breast cancer’hellip;and for males (there are) 1,990,’ Chand said. ‘The deaths among females will be 40,480 and males 450 (according to the National Health Institute).’ There is a significant difference between males and females but what it says is that both (sexes) get it and this number has been growing. It’s been proven that women and men have been able to find breast cancer by themselves through the self-breast cancer exam.’

It is important to give self-exams and if something suspicious is found to go see a doctor, said Nixon. Even though she is not of the median age, Nixon still found a cancerous lump around age 30.

‘I think they are starting to realize it can and does happen in younger women,’ she said. ‘When I had a suspicious lump when I was 30, doing the mammogram recommended coming back in six months for a follow-up but luckily my OBGYN recommended I had a biopsy anyways and it did turn out to be cancer. It’s difficult for some younger women to sometimes be taken seriously when they have a lump that needs to be checked out so it is really important to turn the thinking around.’

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