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Breast Cancer and College Athletes

Breast cancer is one of the silent killers. 1 in every 8 women will develop some form of invasive breast cancer. This means over 12% of females will develop breast cancer. Over the years, the number of cases of breast cancer have remained stagnant, but the death rate has decreased around 1 percent a year. While this is a good thing, breast cancer still wreaks havoc across the world. 

My mom was one of those 1 in 8 women who were affected by breast cancer. She was diagnosed in May 2008, and it caught everyone by surprise. I was not able to shake the thought of the possibility of losing my mom. Luckily, it was caught early and she is coming up on her 14th anniversary of being cancer-free. I am so thankful for the outcome, but this is not the only run-in my family has had with cancer. My grandpa passed away from lung cancer and one of my grandmas passed away from pancreatic cancer. 

College athletes are not only affected by loved ones diagnosed with cancer, but breast cancer has directly affected athletes as well. Breast cancer may be less common in college-aged students than in older people, and according to Grace Whyshak and the Harvard Gazette, breast cancer is less likely for those who exercise. But, it still happens.

Tiana Mangakahia, a point guard on the Syracuse basketball team, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. The university decided to design uniforms that resembled Mangakahia’s journey through breast cancer. The best part about this, was that they debuted the jerseys this past February, for her last home game at Syracuse.

Support for breast cancer has been shown all over collegiate sports. From raising donations for a cancer organization, to incorporating pink in their uniforms. Collegiate sports have done a lot to spread awareness for breast cancer. The Syracuse Women’s Basketball team is just one of many examples.

It is important to show your support and spread awareness. Many are affected by breast cancer besides those that have it. Whether it be the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have it, it affects many people. Collegiate athletes are affected by and aware of this, and they show their support in many different ways. Collegiate sports are ahead of the game.

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