Georgetown is pretty in pink this month in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ushering in a new wave of activities organized by Georgetown’s Breast Cancer Outreach group.

The first of these will be a bake sale on Copley lawn, this Saturday, Oct. 4, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., which “should be a real treat,” according to Sarah Alexander (MSB ’09), the organization’s co-president.

Other activities planned for Breast Cancer Awareness Month include a beach volleyball tournament on the front lawn on Oct. 18 and a yoga and brunch event on Oct. 25.

Fostering awareness of breast cancer on college campuses can be extremely important, Alexander said. Knowing about the issues involved can make women more at ease when it comes to scheduling mammograms later. College women can also begin self-administered exams, which can lead to early detection of tumors, drastically reducing the chances that the breast cancer will become fatal.

Women who are accustomed to such self-examinations are much more likely to detect abnormalities that may occur later.

The prevalence of breast cancer increases the likelihood that most students know or will know someone affected, Alexander said. The disease is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 182,460 new breast cancer cases arise each year in females and 1,990 in males. About 40,480 women and 450 men die annually of the illness. Rates of breast cancer-related death are higher in Washington, D.C., than anywhere else in the country, Alexander said.

“It touches almost everyone’s life in a deeply personal way,” she said.

Breast Cancer Outreach has been increasing efforts to raise awareness and support in the past several years. During the past school year, the organization drew a record-breaking turnout of 300 people at its largest annual fundraiser, Girls Night In, an evening of spa treatments, entertainment and snacks, Alexander said.

The organization has also attracted a record number of five male members, aiding in the group’s goal to break the common misconception that breast cancer affects only women. In the past several years, members have also formed a relationship with and sent donations to Capital Breast Care Center, an organization that works with underprivileged women in the downtown Washington, D.C., area.

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