The College of Pharmacy is dedicated to increasing awareness about breast cancer. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held in October, student organizations took the lead in telling the breast cancer story.
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant tumors form in the tissue of the breast. Next to skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer. In 2021, an estimated total of 330,000 women and 2,650 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. While there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, an estimated 43,600 women and 530 men will die from breast cancer this year alone.
Student organizations in the College hosted events to spread awareness. The UGA chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) sponsored a district meeting during which Dr. Mandi Murph, an Associate Professor in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Department, discussed current breast cancer trends and treatments. According to Dr. Murph, breast cancer survival rates have greatly improved in the last 10 years. Enhanced technology, such as 3D mammograms, and awareness have been contributing factors. PharmDawg breast cancer survivors Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott, Director of Diversity Programs and Academic Support, and Mickey Yongue (Montevideo), Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, shared their individual histories and experiences with the disease.
The Student Oncological Advocates in Pharmacy (SOAP) and the UGA chapter of American Pharmacists Association (APhA) co-hosted a breast cancer survivor’s panel later in the month, which featured Dr. Grace Gowda, Director of International and Biomedical Regulatory Sciences; Louise Huff, Building Services Supervisor; along with Hill-Silcott and Yongue (Montevideo).
“I really enjoyed speaking at this panel,” said Louise V. Huff, Building Services Supervisor. “I hope that I gave the participants some insight that will help them and their family members in the future.”
“I was privileged to speak to both of these PharmDawg groups about my breast cancer journey,” said Yongue (Montevideo). “While my actual cancer diagnosis and treatment were challenging, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. It has given me an opportunity to share the importance of self-examinations, early detection, and healthy living, while forming bonds with other women who have traveled the same road. If in some small way I have made a difference, I am humbled and honored.”
For more information about breast cancer, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.