SHAPE Meets with DetecTogether to Educate on Cancer Awareness and Early Detection

Nicole Letendre ’23

Chief Features Editor

Photo courtesy of Nicole L.
SHAPE & DetecTogether poster

Cancer has affected each of us in our own way, through loved ones, friends, or maybe even personal experience. It’s a scary topic, but one that is so important to discuss, especially since early detection has the ability to drastically increase chances of survival and quality of life. DetecTogether is an organization committed to educating people on how to detect cancer and become advocates for their own healthcare. According to DetecTogether resources, “You can be 10x more likely to survive cancer when it’s caught at Stage 1 vs Stage 4.” On April 26, a representative from DetecTogether met with a few members from HC SHAPE (Student Health Awareness Peer Educators), as well as SHAPE supervisors Darlene Menz, NP and Ann Zimage, RN, in College of the Holy Cross Health Services. SHAPE is a Holy Cross club that promotes and educates on various health topics, such as nutrition, fitness, eye health, mental health, cancer awareness and many others! DetecTogether offered a few easy steps to keep health a priority and raise awareness for early detection. Their organization has devised a list called “3 Steps Detect” to prioritize early detection. Step 1 is “Know Your Great,” or tune into your body at its normal—know your normal sleep patterns and energy levels. Step 2 is “Use the Two-Week Rule”—any change lasting more than two weeks should be communicated to a doctor. Finally, Step 3 is “Share With Your Doctor”: be open and honest with your doctor about changes in your normal, or any concerns you might have. 

As college students, our days are full of classes, extracurriculars, sports, and social time. Despite these packed days, it’s so important to prioritize your health and tune into your body when anything changes. DetecTogether provides the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, one of which is What types of cancers should we be looking for in our teens and 20’s? According to DetecTogether, some of the most common cancers for young adults are breast cancer, blood cancers, melanoma, and testicular cancer, as well as colon cancer. The important thing is to be aware of your body’s normal and talk to your doctor about any concerns. Changes in health don’t necessarily mean anything serious, but it’s always good to be proactive in your healthcare! SHAPE was so grateful to meet with a representative from DetecTogether and is eager to share this important education with Holy Cross students. SHAPE is planning to run a booth in Hogan, from which they can provide important resources and information about early detection, cancer awareness, and DetecTogether’s “3 Steps Detect” guide. For more information on DetecTogether, visit their website at detectogether.org, and for more information on SHAPE (Student Health Awareness Peer Educators), visit their Instagram account @holycrossshape.

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