Delta Sigma Theta sorority held a Breast Cancer Awareness Forum Thursday night in the University of La Verne’s West Dining Room.
They discussed the many ways of how to detect breast cancer and what the facts and myths are about it , as well as having a breast cancer survivor share her story. The Delta’s held this forum as a part of their public service.
“We do programs for the community to promote awareness on health issues,” said Elisha McKinney, vice president of Delta Sigma Theta and ULV senior.
The program has five “thrusts” or goals that it tries to achieve, including economic, education, health, mental and physical thrusts.
This thrust was under the category of mental and physical health.
In attendance were sorority sisters, both young and old, and a cancer survivor. The forum began with an icebreaker; everyone walked around and shook hands introducing themselves and trying to figure out who the cancer survivor was. The woman who rubbed the inside of your palm was the cancer survivor and you were asked to sit down.
That survivor was Doris Williams. Her daughter is a member of the sorority and was kind enough to speak and share her story with the audience.
McKinney presented a power point presentation on the “Did you knows” of breast cancer.
Following her was a Power Point presentation on exercising and how it could help prevent breast cancer in women.
Another speaker that attended was Letita Spencer, a gynecologist from Kaiser Permanente and also a fellow Delta. She came to bring her professional knowledge on breast cancer.
“You can’t control if you are going to get it,” Spencer said. “But early detection can save lives,” Spencer said.
She discussed the ways you can detect breast cancer and the myths and facts about it.
Spencer also gave an example of a self breast examination. She explained that she was not afraid to do it and that if the men there were uncomfortable they could leave.
The men were shocked; until she made it clear she would not be taking off her blouse. She made it clear that the best way to save a life is to detect any slight difference in a woman’s breast.
Oct. 21 is National Mammogram Day and women should take advantage of this.
After Spencer’s presentation, Williams came to the podium and explained she would not simply give a lecture but a poem instead.
“Her poem was beautiful and really inspiring to me,” McKinney said.
“I thought there was a nice outcome, but I wanted more people to show up,” she added. “People really don’t care that much when they hear breast cancer because they think they are too young to get it, but in African Americans it is the No. 1 killer and we can get it as early as the age of 20.”
Amira Seyoum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.