A Weight on the Chest

Oxnard High School students talk about the lack of knowledge on breast cancer awareness

“My grandma had breast cancer. Thankfully, I didn’t lose her,” said Oxnard High School senior Robby Gutierrez. The news of a relative being diagnosed with breast cancer is a reality many families and individuals face. According to breastcancer.org, one in eight women in the United States will be develop breast cancer.


The same source stated that breast cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in breast tissue. A cell may continue to divide causing there to be a vast amount of the same cell that develops into a tumor.


Cancer.org reported that early detection of breast cancer may be difficult as some women may not have symptoms at all. One of the most telling signs to watch out for are lumps in the breast tissue that feel irregular, hard, and painful.


If an individual does feel a lump they are worried about, medical assistance should be seeked. Additional tests may be done after examination of the breast tissue lump. They include mammograms, breast ultrasounds, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), ductogram, and a biopsy.


Self breast exams are commonly suggested to people, but no one actually takes the time to perform one on themselves. OHS senior Ashley San Jose said, “In school you learn about it. You should check for lumps in your breast. Personally, I never do.”


OHS senior Hannah Quiroz is on the same page as San Jose with self examinations. Quiroz stated, “No I do not [do self examinations]. I’m not exactly sure how to do it and that’s why I feel there should be more awareness of early signs and checking.”


A study done by BioMedCentral found that high school girls know little about breast cancer risk factors, as well as how to conduct a breast self-examination. The study concluded that girls need more information about breast cancer either through school or programs.


Informing young adults about self-examinations and early detections of breast cancer is beneficial to their health.