The sorority Delta Sigma Theta has been working to raise awareness that men are also at risk for breast cancer throughout the campus with its “Real Men Wear Pink” Facebook Challenge.
According to an Oct. 6 USA Today article, 2,140 men in the United States will develop breast cancer this year. The lifetime risk that a man would develop the disease was one in 1,000.
The lifetime risk for women was one in eight, according to a cancer.gov study.
Although the statistics for men are much lower, Delta Sigma Theta wanted to enlighten students about the risk men face.
Event creator and senior English major Sharia De Castro, who is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, said she was personally compelled to create the event to help spread awareness to men throughout campus.
“Many men are shocked when they first hear that they too can get breast cancer,” she said. “So, our sorority wanted to do something different and spread awareness to them, and do things like encourage them to get mammograms and seek an active role in the cause.”
For the challenge, the sorority encouraged men on campus to enter by posting photos of themselves onto the Facebook challenge page wearing pink in order to show their support for the cause.
Students throughout campus were encouraged to visit the page and “like” their favorite photo. The challenger with the most “likes” would win a $25 gift card to their place of choice.
The winner will be announced on the Delta Sigma Theta chapter’s Facebook page during the Oct. 28 BYU game.
Delta Sigma Theta will also donate $100 to Sisters Network Inc., a national survivors organization dedicated to spreading awareness of the impact of breast cancer in the African American community.
De Castro said her sorority actively worked in partnership with the organization and that they were happy to be able to help the cause.
The group brought in 10 challengers, each men who gave their thoughts on people currently suffering from the disease.
One participant, senior theatre major Arrington Foster, said he decided to enter the challenge after hearing about it from members of the sorority.
“I’ve never had any personal experiences with breast cancer. However, I think it’s definitely something people should be aware about,” Foster said.
He said he had seen the efforts the university was making toward promoting breast cancer awareness and felt compelled to be a part of those efforts.
“Like the challenge page says, ‘real men wear pink,’” he said. “I think that’s about having confidence and not being afraid to be who you are and to stand up for the struggles that people who go through this are experiencing.”