Alpha Phi Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta hosted their Annual Breast Cancer Forum in the SUB Ballrooms last Tuesday night.
The Annual Breast Cancer Forum invites members of the community that have been affected by breast cancer to share their stories. The forum hosted three speakers this year.
The first speaker, Charlene Jackson from Delhi and an alumnus of ULM, has been a survivor of breast cancer for seven years.
Jackson is also a member of the Monroe Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and an advocate for breast cancer awareness.
“It’s important that we spread the news and knowledge about breast cancer so that it can be prevented,” Jackson said.
Jackson especially advocates for yearly mammograms.
“I found my cancer through a mammogram; I did not find it through a self breast exam,” Jackson said.
Gloria Clark, from Monroe, also did not find her cancer through a self-exam but through a mammogram. “Because it was 1.3 centimeters, the size of a pea, I could not find it on my own,” Clark said.
Clark has been a breast cancer survivor for five years and is also a ULM alumna and a member of the Monroe Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Nicholas Alford, a current student at ULM and a member of the Eta Chi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, was the last speaker of the forum. Alford shared his experience as a caretaker for his mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer but is now five years a survivor.
“Those who are going through breast cancer aren’t just going through physical pain, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual pain,” Alford said.
Students who attended the forum realized the importance of yearly mammograms and regular breast self-exams.
Ciara Downing explained the importance of catching any form of breast cancer early.
“You should always be aware that breast cancer is very common. You should look out for the symptoms and signs and get your mammograms so that you catch it on time. You never know what’s going to happen. Get checked just to be sure,” said Downing, a junior psychology major.
Breast cancer can occur at an early age, so prevention is encouraged for all ages.
Marzetta Scott said breast cancer screenings are something women must face.
“Always go get tested, never back down. Don’t be ashamed,” said Scott, a freshman pre-nursing major.
The American Cancer Society recommends women over age 40 to have mammograms yearly.