October 12, 2004
HEALTH CENTER OFFERING
FREE BREAST CANCER EXAMS
It’s been said that the
best things in life are free. Sometimes, those things can actually
save one’s life.
That’s certainly the case during Breast Cancer
Awareness Month when the University of Houston’s Health Center
offers free breast exams for the campus community from 9:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and Wednesday, Oct. 20. (See EARLY
DETECTION KEY TO SURVIVAL for overview of activities.)
Although the largest breast cancer risk group risk
consists women 40 and older, Floyd Robinson, UH Health Center director,
said that exams are vital for adults of all ages.
“We are finding breast cancer in women who
are in their 20s,” he said. “The average age for students
here is 27. A lot of them feel they are too young for exams, but
breast cancer is not selective when it comes to age.”
Men also are encouraged to take advantage of these
free screenings. The American Cancer Society reported that male
breast cancer accounts for one percent of all breast cancer cases,
and Robinson said that cases have been diagnosed in the UH Health
Center Men’s Clinic.
During the free exams, health center physicians
will provide information on breast cancer and instructions on self-examinations.
“We ask patients if they perform self-exams
and the answer is often, ‘yes.’ When they show us what
they do, however, sometimes, it is not the proper technique,”
While some may not perform self-examinations properly,
others simply avoid screenings altogether. Robinson said that the
fear of “what if” is a primary reason so many people
put off being examined.
Those who are unable to attend the free screenings
can make an appointment at the health center for an examination.
Doctor’s visits cost $15 for students and $35 for faculty
If a potentially cancerous mass is detected, Robinson
said the health center will assist in providing direction as to
the next steps to take.
“We will recommend that the patient undergo
a mammography,” Robinson said. “If they have no way
of finding out where to get one or how much they cost, we will find
that out for them. We sometimes even go so far as to put them in
touch with a physician if necessary.”