NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) walked with a purpose during the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Oct. 19.
George Washington’s Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) organized the event to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to raise awareness of a disease that is the second leading cause of death among women according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
President of the JEA Yeoman 3rd class Ryan Crespo said it’s something that affects millions of people, not only in this country, but throughout the world, and that should make everyone stop and think about what they can do to make a difference.
“I think its super important to pay attention to breast cancer,” said Crespo. “We walked 19 laps because every 19 seconds someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s a big deal.”
According to information found on the website for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
“There’s a lot of different things you can do to bring awareness to breast cancer,” said Crespo. “Personally, myself, I had some of my awesome committee cabinet members go out and make some awesome flyers that we posted around the ship. We made banners. I had a custom sweater made. I went out and bought a really nice pink hat.”
The Breast Cancer Awareness Walk raised awareness for some, but for Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Donnell Proctor, a mentor for JEA, it was an opportunity to educate the crew on breast cancer facts and myths.
“I think the biggest thing that can be done is advocacy and letting people know who is most at risk,” said Proctor. “We can do this by explaining how to check for breast cancer, as far as the signs and symptoms of it, and also by educating people that men are at risk for breast cancer as well. Breast cancer is a non-discriminatory disease and it affects both men and women.”
According to statistics found on website for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., it is estimated that 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and approximately 460 will die each year.
“It starts the dialogue of who it can affect and how they can take care of themselves and check for it,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Toddriquez Jones, vice president of the JEA. “It affects everyone and it’s something we all should be serious about.”
Early detection of breast cancer includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Service members with questions about breast cancer signs and symptoms should contact their primary care manager or local Military Treatment Facility.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.