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Langara campus holds no events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nearing the end of October, there are still no signs of breast cancer events.

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Amber Grimm
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Reported by Nick Valka

Updates to clarify the print version of this story:

While the Student Engagement Programs at Langara College did not plan any breast cancer awareness events this month, students are not precluded from taking action themselves. Students who feel strongly about an issue they believe the college should address can reach out to The Hub at Langara College.

Also corrects the issues that government mandates post-secondary institutions to address. This is currently sexual violence and not Pink Shirt Day.

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer affects one in eight Canadian women, yet Langara College didn’t host any events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign that brings international attention to the disease. Charities and organizations collect donations during the month of October for research into the causes, prevention and possible cure of breast cancer. However, students and faculty at Langara College might’ve noticed a lack of breast cancer-related events on campus this month.

Reba Noel, Student Engagement Programs Coordinator at Langara College, explained that the government mandates post-secondary institutions to address certain issues, such as sexual violence, rather than others.

“There are things that we kind of have to face, and it’s just that those things are percolating to the top,” said Noel. “It’s hard to say, without sounding trite, that one’s more important than the other, but we’re mandated by the government to have a policy to address certain things.”

There’s simply not enough time to host events for all societal and health issues, Noel said, but if students or members of the community feel strongly about a certain topic, they should reach out to The Hub at Langara College.

“If we have students coming and saying we should really be doing something around this and they demonstrate engagement, then we support them,” Noel said.

Some Langara students were not fully aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but still wish there was some form of acknowledgement for the month-long campaign around campus.

Theresa Lang, first year health sciences student, did not know that this month was dedicated to breast cancer awareness. However, Lang said it would have been useful for the college to have posted advertisements throughout campus so students would be further informed of this month’s events.

“I didn’t even know about it, awareness events would be good but even posters around campus would help,” said Lang.

While women under the age of 50 have a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer, Shawn Chirrey, Senior Manager of Health Promotion at the Canadian Cancer Society said it’s still important to be knowledgeable about things like family history.

“Know their family history, know their associated risks,” said Chirrey. “Be aware of your breasts, what they normally look and feel like, and if there are any changes, talk to your doctor.”

 

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