Breast cancer awareness meeting sparks gender debate

Sarah Lamonaca, Staff Writer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. That is why it is important to educate people on how to detect and get treatment for this lethal disease. On Mar. 12, Suburban Hospital staff and members of the school community will be presenting a breast cancer awareness and prevention program to all junior and senior female students and their mothers.

The breast cancer awareness and prevention program has been offered at school for years and happens biennially. All 11th and 12th grade female students received an opt-out form on Jan. 29 with information about the assembly. This assembly is honorable because it is addressing an issue that can affect all of us. It is very important to spread breast cancer awareness because according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.”

Given that breast cancer is a medical crisis that affects both men and women, it’s baffling that men should be excluded from meetings meant to educate the public about this important topic. Vice President of the senior class Zack Cassidy said, “I can see why boys would be excluded from the breast cancer awareness assembly seeing as some people in the school could make it into a joke, but I think that for those who want to attend they should be allowed to.”

Consider this: studies conducted by the National Breast Cancer Foundation have proven that one in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, so hypothetically one male student in our school will develop breast cancer. Senior Noah Reiser said, “Even though males are at a lower risk of developing this disease, I believe that they should be informed about it because a fraction of them can still be diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Breast cancer is not just a woman’s issue. It is a world-wide medical crisis that everyone, including people who identify as male, nonbinary, and trans should be educated on. Freshman Orley Bennaim said, “I think there should be a meeting for just females and then another meeting for males, but I do think male students should be allowed to come if they feel it’s necessary.”

Breast cancer is not “too sexual” to be discussed in front of all genders. Every student in our school should be invited to attend this event and should receive the same treatment that female students are. If there are more people that are educated about the causes and effects of this disease, there will be more people saved from the devastating effects that breast cancer can have on one’s life and their loved one’s lives.