Breast Cancer Awareness Month raises thoughts of other cancer types being seen around school


Photo by Stacia Pennycuff

Volleyball senior Tommie Schaffner jump serves during the Pink Out game. Schaffner and the team played with pink socks and a pink volleyball to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Cancer: the word can make any human with a heart fall to their knees in distress. Whether man or woman, hearing you have been diagnosed with cancer can be the most traumatizing information to hear. When it comes to bringing awareness to cancer types, there is one type only brought up in school: breast cancer.

“I believe that because breast cancer is the only widely discussed form of cancer, the school only feels necessary to bring attention to it,” junior Claire Pletcher said.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place in October, but there are multiple awareness months that Pletcher believes should be brought to students attention as well since cancer is a worldwide health issue.

“I would love to be made more aware of other types of cancer, and I think all students should,” Pletcher said. “I definitely support bringing more attention to different types of cancer. I would love to see more attention brought to them.”

Cancer has affected most families in Augusta in some way, shape or form. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in Kansas; behind prostate.

“I feel that the school brings so much attention to breast cancer due to the prevalence of that type of cancer within most communities, as well as the fact that early detection is crucial to surviving with minimal physical harm,” science teacher Nathan Stevens said.

Stevens believes the school goes all out for breast cancer awareness month because of the number of either parents and teachers in the district who have dealt or are dealing with cancer. With that, he feels since it is so prevalent nearby, the community should promote funding and research for it.

“For most of us, we try not to think about the possibility of ourselves or family members succumbing to cancer unless it has already been diagnosed,” Stevens said. “I do think we should all be more aware of what to look for in regards to early detection, regardless of the type of cancer.”

Although doctors and scientists have identified over 100 different types of cancer, Stevens believes the school should incorporate more into cancer awareness than just one type.

“It would be difficult to incorporate all other types of cancer when addressing awareness as many of them are not as common,” Stevens said. “However, I think that it would be relatively simple to include some of the more prevalent cancers as well as National Cancer Prevention month.”

Just like Stevens, senior Jared Goldenstein believes it would be a good idea to include more than just one cancer awareness month in school events.

“I know people who have survived cancer, and some who have lost their battle,” Goldenstein said. “We shouldn’t only bring up one just because it is well-known. We should include more common cancer types that are around here and create funding for them, too.”

When it comes to cancer, it can be a touchy subject depending on who a person talks to, but cancer is a topic needing to be talked about. Goldenstein would like to see the school show out for more than one cancer type.

“I think it would be a great idea for the school to start raising awareness of many cancer types so people can learn about the warning signs and what to do if something happens,” Goldenstein said. “Cancer is a worldwide issue that can change a person’s life forever. We as a community should be more open to other types and bring awareness to them so we can learn how to spot what may be cancer.”