The Black Student Movement’s minority health and health disparities committee held the event Wednesday evening, coinciding with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The event was headlined by UNC graduate Sharon Melvin, who spoke on warning signs and behaviors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Shadai Mcmillan, co-chairwoman of the minority health and health disparities committee in the Black Student Movement, said the group wanted to raise awareness of the condition’s effect on people of many different backgrounds.
“We plan to highlight key health issues that not only plague the black community, but plague the minority community at large as well,” Mcmillan said. “We want to raise awareness being that this is obviously a very prevalent issue across the board for all women and some men as well.”
About 40,000 women and 430 men are expected to die from this condition in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society.
Black women are also more likely to die from breast cancer than white women are, Mcmillan said, but she stressed there is hope for those diagnosed with the condition.
“There are 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States and a 100 percent survival rate for women with stage one breast cancer,” Mcmillan said.
Melvin is the former chairwoman of the board of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, a nonprofit dedicated to workforce diversity in the scientific and health care fields.