U Health Care Wants You to “Breast Assured” in October

Since October is breast cancer awareness month, U Health Care is hosting a campaign to spread the word.

Breast Assured, the U’s first breast cancer campaign, began Sept. 24 and is running until the end of the month, said Lori Bonham, marketing manager of U Heath Care. While breast cancer affects mostly women over 40, the campaign is targeting all students to teach healthy habits of performing personal breast exams and to educate everyone about the realities of the disease.

“Getting them involved at a younger age and helping them understand the importance of breast care and their overall health will help them,” Bonham said.

As part of the initiative, U Health Care will pass out pink lemonade and instruction sheets that demonstrate steps for personal breast exams. The lemonade stands will be at some of the U’s athletics events, such as the women’s soccer and volleyball games. Additionally, those who donate a bra for Bras for a Cause, which accepts new and gently worn garments and donates them to the Road Home homeless shelter, get free admission.

The bra clothing drive is also part of a philanthropy effort with the U’s sororities. Lexie Maschoff, a senior in marketing and president of Delta Gamma, said her house has already started collecting bras.

“It’s a great opportunity to spread awareness and learn about tips, not only to help yourself and ensure you are healthy, but also providing a way to give back to others,” she said.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, Bonham said, and Utah has one of the lowest percentages of women who get mammograms. One of the goals of this campaign is to raise awareness of breast cancer’s prevalence and encourage women to have screenings. Bonham said women over the age of 40 should get a mammogram each year because 93 percent of women who have early cancer detection survive beyond five years.

“Women are the last to take care of themselves,” she said. “They are always concerned about taking care of others.”

In order to reach out to a wide range of the community, the Breast Assured campaign will also be tabling at the Hispanic Health Fair, SoJo Marathon and Tanger Outlets.

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@carolyn_webber