first_imgIn support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week’s installment of USC’s “Be Fit. Be Well.” program will feature a class on breast health.The program, run by Recreational Sports, hosts a speaker each week to discuss health and wellness issues. This Wednesday, the class will focus on breast cancer and prevention techniques.“It’s important that we all know what the newest and most current procedures are in order to stay healthy,” said Jennifer Siu, associate director of recreational sports.Wednesday’s class will be led by Amelia Warwick, the nurse health advocate for USC Career and Protective Services.Warwick has a long history of involvement with breast cancer issues. She volunteered in the education department of the American Cancer Association for six years, hosted a support group for women with breast cancer, helped provide low-cost mammograms to women and now works with employees at USC who are fighting breast cancer.Having also seen two close friends battle breast cancer, Warwick said she is dedicated to spreading awareness and prevention methods — including among college students, who often think they’re too young to deal with breast health issues.“Even though students might not be ready for some of the information for themselves yet, it is still worthwhile for them to come to [the class] because it does talk about breast health and the importance of getting exams, as well as the risk factors such as the genetics of breast cancer,” Warwick said.Siu said breast cancer was chosen as the topic for a “Be Fit. Be Well.” class because, in a survey conducted last year, many people requested a class on breast health.“When I talked to some of our health professionals, they wanted to make sure [breast cancer information] got out to students and also staff and faculty,” Siu said.Although the average age of women with breast cancer is 55, Warwick said women as young as their 20s have had breast cancer. With one out of eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it is likely these issues will be important to many students in the future.“It will all be put in a very positive light because, with early detection, the cure rates can be very high,” Warwick said. “But we still have to make sure we stay on top of this for ourselves and the women we love.”Some students, however, said a class on breast health would have little relevance to them right now.“I don’t think a lot of students think it’s an issue for us because we’re not in the age bracket,” said Julian Williamson, a junior majoring in international relations (global business).But others, like Daniella Ginsburg, a junior majoring in neuroscience, agreed it was important for college-aged women to be informed about breast health.“People don’t think that breast cancer can occur from younger ages, but it doesn’t only happen to older people,” Ginsburg said. “Even if it won’t affect them, they will still be able to educate other members of their family.”Ginsburg, like Warwick, has already encountered breast cancer among those close to her.“Because my mom had breast cancer and I saw what kind of a toll it took on her, and also how fortunate she was that she did catch it early … it made me so aware of how important it is to get tested early and examine yourself,” Ginsburg said. “If you do there is more hope for you.”last_img