As a daughter and granddaughter of breast cancer survivors, cancer research is very important to me. I conducted this research project to find out how breast cancer is viewed among my peers and as a means for awareness education. I began by creating a survey for my first method of research that involved 16 female students. They were asked a variety of questions to further investigate their knowledge on breast cancer. Through these survey results, I found that the majority of participants felt that they could not properly perform a self breast exam. Additionally, through the open ended question, I found that the majority of participants would be uncertain with their next steps if they had found a lump or something suspicious.
For my second method of research, I analyzed two photo sets from a google image search. The first search was, "Breast Cancer Awareness in Young Woman" and the second search being, "Breast Cancer Awareness in Woman". I analyzed the photos through a means of categorizing specific elements and created tally marks. The categories included symbolism, different ethnicities, seriousness, bare skin and fellowship. Through this method, I found a stark difference between both data sets. The google search of "Breast Cancer Awareness in Woman" displayed love, support, fellowship and diversity. The google search of "Breast Cancer Awareness in Young Woman" displayed hyper-sexualized illustrations of the female body, women looking scared by themselves and little to no diversity of women.
I concluded that there is a great issue within breast cancer education for young women. They are not being properly represented and the education lacks the idea that there is a community with inclusivity. The majority of our awareness comes from marketing and media. I believe there is a gap in how breast cancer is being portrayed through the media lens.