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Hey Sis

What’s the 4-1-1: Breast Density

A major part of living your #breastlife is getting familiar with your girls, but how familiar are you? What’s the 4-1-1 gives you the tea on everything you need to live your very best life and empower you to get familiar with your lady bits.

 

Breast density has been all over the news the past few weeks with the FDA proposing a new rule that would require mammogram providers to tell women if they have dense breasts which would be a major win for women everywhere. Did you know that about 40% of women in the United States have dense breasts- with Black women having a higher rate? We have the lowdown on what exactly is breast density and how to find out if your girls are dense.

What does it mean if I have dense breasts?

Your breasts contain several types of tissue, from glandular lobes that create milk when you are pregnant, to lymph and blood vessels, to fatty tissue. Breast density is a way to measure how much of your breast is made up of fatty tissue. Dense breasts contain less fatty tissue. Since dense tissue and tumors both appear white on a mammogram, dense breast tissue can make it hard to find tumors or other changes in the breast on a mammogram.

How does breast density affect my breast cancer risk?

In addition to making cancer detection more difficult, breast density also increases your risk of breast cancer. Studies show that having dense breasts can double your risk of getting breast cancer. Ugh.

Who is more likely to get dense breasts besides Black women?

  • Premenopausal women
  • Postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy
  • Women who have a lower BMI
  • Young women

The medical community is not entirely sure Your breast density can change as you age, or as your bodyweight changes.

How do I find out if I have dense breasts?

The only way to truly know if you have dense breasts is through mammography. Some states have laws that say a radiologist/healthcare provider must inform you if you have dense breasts, and some states don’t.  Your best bet? Talk with your healthcare provider and ask them directly if you have dense breasts.

What happens next?

If a radiologist determines that you have dense breasts, talk to your healthcare provider about what screening options are available to you, taking into account other risk factors like family history of breast cancer, personal health history, and lifestyle. Currently, there are no guidelines or recommendations for increased or additional screening for women with dense breasts.

What types of screening are available and when are they used?

  • 2D Mammogram: This is the most common form of mammography. Your personal and family health history will determine when you start screening.
  • 3D Mammogram: This technology is becoming more widely available and proven to be more accurate than 2D mammography.
  • Breast MRI: This can be used in addition to mammography if your provider wants a more accurate reading. This can be utilized for women at elevated risk.
  • Breast Ultrasound: This can be used to look more closely at something suspicious. It can also be helpful in addition to mammography for women with dense or fibrocystic breasts.

Awareness in Action™

Our girls come in all different types of sizes, shapes, and varying densities. Text BRIGHT to 59227 and reply Y, or sign up here, for Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminders™. We’ll send you regular reminders to check in with your breasts so that you can better define what’s normal for YOU. You are just one text message away from living your #breastlife.

Uncategorized

ZTA runs with Team Bright Pink

Amazing Team Bright Pink opportunity for ZTA members! 
 
We’re pleased to extend an exciting and exclusive opportunity to some of our greatest supporters – the Zeta Tau Alpha community. Whether you’re an avid runner or aspiring beginner, Team Bright Pink welcomes you to join 180+ men and women who will take on the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon while raising critical funds for breast and ovarian health. Running with Bright Pink is another way for ZTA members to Think Pink in support of one of our national philanthropic partners, AND a wonderful way to practice the health behaviors that will help improve your breast and ovarian health!
 
Bright Pink has charity bibs available for the Chicago Marathon, meaning your spot is guaranteed. Join today and receive free entry, training support, and the satisfaction of helping fulfill our mission to save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering women to know their risk and manage their health proactively. 
 
As a partner of Bright Pink, we are thrilled to offer $250 credit* toward your fundraising minimum for ZTA members NOW through April 15th. Sign-up today to secure your special minimum of $2,250! 
 
If you have questions or would like more information, please email [email protected]brighpink.org.
 
We look forward to helping you cross that finish line with confidence!
– Team Bright Pink
 
*Once you register, let us know you’re a ZTA member by emailing [email protected]brightpink.org, and we’ll credit your account. 
Hey Sis, Personal Stories

The Wakeup Call

Britt LaThrece [pro-nounced La-Tree S sound]. Is the influencer and content creator behind BrittLaThrece.com, a digital destination for lifestyle, fashion, and holistic wellness; mind, body, and soul. It empowers women to be yourself, love yourself, and accept yourself for who you are, where you are, right now in your personal journey. BrittLaThrece.com offers tips, inspiration, and ideas for creative and mindful living.

 

I would like to share a very personal story with each of you that I was never really comfortable sharing until now. Wellness is a very important part of my lifestyle, and something that I pride myself on is my routine health and wellness practices.

Generally, summer tends to be a more relaxed season in my industry due to vacations and Summer Fridays, so I really like to take advantage of visiting each of my doctors during this time, especially my for my well-woman visit. The great part is that most insurance providers cover annual woman’s exams, and it gives me a reason to visit my OBGYN, an amazing woman of color!                 

During my Summer 2016 visit, while my doctor was doing my breast exam, she came across a lump in my left breast. She asked me if I’d noticed it at any point prior to my visit, and I admitted that I had not, because the truth was that self-breast exams weren’t part of my self-care practices. She had me examine my left breast myself to feel the abnormality that she was referring to, and it was extremely obvious that something wasn’t quite right.

 

As a precautionary measure, she advised me to get a breast ultrasound to evaluate the lump. While my doctor was optimistic during my visit, I remember leaving feeling completely devastated. So devastated, that I cried right on Michigan Avenue, and called my mother to share the news!

If you can imagine, I felt a lot of shame and overwhelmed with fear. Shame in the fact that someone else discovered an irregularity in my body before I did…and when I tried to figure out how this could happen, the truth was that prior to that moment, it never really occurred to me how important self-breast exams were for my health! My fear came from the unknown – what would happen in one week when I had my ultrasound? What kind of news would I receive, and how would the news impact my life? I couldn’t help but think, I’m only twenty-something for crying out loud, and I came to realize that my youth didn’t exempt me from health conditions.

At that point, the only thing to do was to face my fear and find out what was going on, because if there’s one thing I’ve realized in life, it’s that avoiding problems neither solves them nor makes them disappear. The next week, I went to my ultrasound appoint feeling vulnerable and anxious. However, my sonographer was really kind and had a calming energy that made the experience other words, cancer free. She said that it was nothing to be concerned about, but an area that we should continue to keep an eye on. I was relieved – HALLEJUAH! After a week of having my smooth and painless.

Within the next 20-30 minutes, my sonographer was able to tell me that my cyst was benign, in very active imagination run wild with tons of scenarios, it was great to put my curiosity to rest.

 

The most important lesson that I learned from this experience was that I needed to establish a better relationship with my girls, and check in with my body more regularly. It also helped me not take my health for granted and made me take a more proactive approach in my preventative health instead of a reactive approach, which has been and will continue to be beneficial for my overall self-care. Now, I monitor my body regularly for changes and know to speak up with confidence if I do feel anything out of the ordinary. It’s not always the most convenient thing to do with a busy schedule, but Bright Pink’s has a really great resource called breast health reminders that can help you do so once a month. Sign up for these reminders here, and Bright Pink will send you a monthly text so you’ll never forget!

Health Innovation

Her Bright Future

This Women’s History Month, rather than looking back, we’re looking forward to the bright future we all deserve – one in which less lives are lost to breast and ovarian cancer, every young woman is empowered to know her risk and manage her health proactively, and women everywhere can live healthier, happier, longer lives.

Bright Pink is committed to serve as a tenacious champion for women as they journey toward these futures. And we’re proud to be amongst some of today’s most innovative women’s health leaders striving to meet the ever-changing needs of women as they navigate the shifting healthcare landscape.

We’ll feature other wonderful health innovators on our blog, through Instagram giveaways, and as a matching donor to our Facebook Fundraiser.

Together, we’ll secure Her Bright Future


Throughout March, we’ll introduce a wonderful health innovator who is working alongside Bright Pink to create Her Bright Future. First up? We’re teaming up with Modern Fertility: The fertility hormone test you can take at home. Get to know the power-duo behind the company, Afton Vechery & Carly Leahy.

  1. Tell us a bit about Modern Fertility and how your mission empowers women?
    We’re a women’s health company focused on making fertility information more accessible, earlier in life. We take the same fertility hormone tests offered in infertility clinics and make them available before your first (or next) kid. We plan out everything in our lives––our finances, our careers––but when it comes to fertility, we’re still expected to just “wait and see”––and in 2019, that’s just not good enough. Modern Fertility is putting the power of fertility knowledge directly into the hands of women, so they can be their own best advocates when it comes to decisions impacting their bodies and futures.
  2. How did the idea come about to create Modern Fertility?
    Our CEO and cofounder Afton Vechery decided she didn’t want to have kids until later in life, so she set out to better understand her fertility and start planning ahead. The process wasn’t easy: multiple appointments and procedures—plus a $1,500 bill that came in the mail when it was all done. Despite the painful process, she felt empowered by the information she uncovered, which allowed her to understand her body and take control of her roadmap. The experience spawned the idea for Modern Fertility. Afton was inspired to make this process dramatically easier and more accessible so more women could take the reins of their personal health.
  3. What differentiates Modern Fertility from more traditional fertility/ hormone testing?
    Traditional fertility testing takes place in infertility clinics, typically only after you’ve tried to conceive and are having problems. With less than 500 infertility clinics nationwide and costs reaching above $1,500, this traditional process is problematically constrained, not to mention, is designed to be reactive instead of proactive. Modern Fertility is the most comprehensive hormone test that you can take at home––helping women understand reproductive health early so they can make a decision accordingly.
  4. How does Modern Fertility prioritize women’s health? Everything we do is focused on bettering women’s health. Our internal motto is simply, “We trust women.” We believe that women deserve to understand and own their persona health information so they can be their own best health advocate and work with their doctors while staying in the driver’s seat––all to make the decisions that are right for them.
  5. Which #bossbabe inspires you the most? There are so many, but we love Michelle Obama for showing us you can be smart, sexy, motherly, feminine and goofy all in one go. Her memoir, Becoming, is a must-read. Must own.
  6. Your go-to Girl Power pump-up music is _______. When we first started the company we listened to Havana by Camila Cabello a lot. Like––a lot a lot.
  7. Favorite way to self-care and why? We both love to sweat. Our exercise of choice? Biking!
  8. Please describe how you envision Her Brighter Future. What does it look like? What opportunity exists? What equity is achieved? We see a world where fertility testing is as routine as a pap smear. And that’s just the beginning. We’re working toward a future where every woman has access to information about her body that will help her make informed decisions about her life.
Hey Sis

Do It For Your Girls

Get to know your normal. Breasts are like snowflakes- no two are alike. That’s why getting to know the normal look and feel of your breasts is a major key. Once a month, (hint- your breast tissue is most stable after your period, so try to check-in then!) look at and touch your breast tissue from multiple angles (because it’s all about the angles) with varying pressure to feel both the deep and surface layers, from the interior by your ribs to just below the skin. Did you know that your breast tissue extends up your collarbone, around to your armpits and into your breastbone? Be sure to check those areas as well.

If you notice any of these symptoms that persist or worsen for 2-3 weeks, see your doctor:

  • Swelling, soreness or rash
  • Warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in size or shape
  • Dimpling or puckering of skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on nipple
  • Nipple that becomes flat or inverted
  • Nipple discharge
  • New, persistent pain in one spot
  • Bumps that resemble bug bites
  • A lump, particularly one that feels like a frozen pea
    • Note – soft, mobile lumps, that come and go with your period are typically normal!

We get it, your breast health can often be the last thing on your to-do list but don’t worry sis, we got your back. Sign up for our Breast Health Reminders®, and we’ll send you a text once a month so you’ll never forget!

Be ovarian self-aware. Much like a Drake lyric, your ovaries can be… complicated. Ovarian cancer symptoms are vague and often confused with digestive or menstrual complaints. Knowing the signs and symptoms and what’s normal for your body is crucial to being proactive about your health. When you know what’s normal for you, you’ll be more likely to notice any changes- and speak up should they occur.

If you notice any of these symptoms persist or worsen for 2-3 weeks, see your doctor and ask, “could it be my ovaries?”:

  • Bloating
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Needing to urinate urgently or often
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual changes

So tell your mother, sisters, girls, hair stylist, Facebook family, and everyone in between to make themselves a priority and check in with themselves. Do it for ya girls (and ovaries too!). Your future self thanks you.

Feeling inspired? Be sure to share our blog on your social page!

Additional links to check out:

Hey Sis

Introducing: Hey, sis

For over a decade, Bright Pink has encouraged all women to take a proactive approach to their breast and ovarian health. Though all people with breasts and ovaries face some cancer risk, these diseases do not affect all women in the same way. Black women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, and in 2018, the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommended that Black women be added to groups considered at higher-than-average risk for breast cancer.

Notoriously left out of the national women’s health conversation, Black women deserve more personalized content to drive behavior change and start to change these odds. Bright Pink is committed to connecting with and engaging this audience with intentionality and purpose in hopes of leveling the playing field related to personalized prevention. As such, we’re launching a campaign this February called “Hey, sis” focused on engaging young Black women in proactive health management. This year-round campaign will feature digital advertising, inspirational social content, storytelling on Bright Pink’s blog, influencer engagement, brand partnerships, and more.

To kick things off, we’ll set the stage by diving a bit deeper into risks Black women face specifically. Throughout the year we’ll share additional content under the “Hey, Sis” umbrella that features personal breast and ovarian health experiences from Black women, personalized health recommendations for the Black community, progress being made to address these barriers, and more. Join us, follow along, and spread the word – because we’re stronger when we all work together in pursuit of the bright future every woman deserves.


Health disparities between Black and white women in the US have existed for decades and were first recognized 30 years ago. Today, even though Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, they are still much more likely to die from the disease than their white counterparts. Black women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. That’s a significant increase compared to 1990, when Black women were 17% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.1

Why such a big difference? Overall, Black and white women develop breast cancer at similar rates, however, Black women tend to face much harder diagnoses. For one, they are are more likely to develop breast cancer before the age of 40. They also have higher rates of triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of the disease. Though triple negative breast cancer only represents between 15 and 20 percent of all breast cancers,2 Black women are twice as likely to receive this diagnosis. In addition, women with triple-negative breast cancer are more likely to have a BRCA gene mutation, an inherited mutation3 that increases their risk of breast cancer between 69 and 72 percent in their lifetime and raises their risk for ovarian cancer to between 17 and  44 percent.4

Beyond their biological risk factors, Black women face multiple barriers in accessing prevention and early detection services because our healthcare system fails to provide women with appropriate information, integrate risk assessments into primary care, and provide risk identification and management services at an affordable cost. They have lower screening rates when compared to white women, causing doctors to detect their cancers at a later, more aggressive and life-threatening stage.

The treatment experience is also uniquely challenging for Black women, complicated by their tendency to experience more prominent scars post- surgery, and their potential to develop keloids and hypertrophic scarring in addition to hyperpigmentation. Not to mention, Black women have a complex and deeply personal relationship with their hair.

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At Bright Pink we believe that knowledge is power; that risk awareness can be the catalyst for women to access more frequent screening, pursue genetic testing, and access treatments not routinely recommended to the general population. These actions can greatly improve their chances of preventing cancer or detecting it in its most treatable stage.

We are not so naive as to think that we alone can solve this problem. But, by leaning into our strengths in digital content, innovation, and partnerships with the healthcare industry and beyond, we can certainly play a significant role in the solution. We’ll continue to ensure our resources speak to and meet the unique needs of Black women throughout the country, so that when presented with the opportunity to take control of their health, Black women feel heard, understood, and supported to do so. We’ll pursue new opportunities to welcome Black women into our community, to brighten up on their breast and ovarian health, assess their risk, explore their genetics, partner with their providers, and more.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthier life, no matter who they are.

Hey, sis, that includes you!

Community, Fueling our Mission

Our Recipe for Success

Shopping, wrapping, and baking, oh my!

During the season of thanks, we like to pause and think about the women in our lives and the memories we’ve made. The mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends that we cherish the times we’ve had with, and those who are no longer with us. This holiday season we hope you’ll help save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering women to manage their health proactively.

Over the next few weeks as you see the women you love, here’s a recipe to make with them. Staff member, Virginia, shares a recipe with priceless memories.

Make a gift in honor of the women in your life.

COOKIES
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use a little more if you add in food coloring, see below)
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4-1/2 jar of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam
Make them pink! –> Red food coloring (or extra jam)

Almond Glaze: 
1 cup powdered sugar (sift it if you can)
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp and 1tsp water
1/4 tsp almond extract

 

To make the cookies: 
Set the oven to 350ºF.

Start with the dry ingredients: whisk the flour, cream of tartar, and salt until very well-blended.

In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Be sure to scrape the bowl down several times when mixing to ensure everything is properly combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Slowly add in the flour mixture as you continue to stir, but be sure not to overmix! Stop when it is just blended. If you wish to add some pink fun to the cookies, add a few drops of red food coloring or another dye and mix to evenly spread the color.

Portion the dough into 6 equal pieces. If the dough is very soft, wrap it up and refrigerate it until it is firmer (about an hour will do – you’ll need to turn off and reheat the oven again when you’re ready).

Prepare two baking sheets with a baking liner such as parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface (You can use your baking sheets if you want! Just keep about 3 inches between each strip) use your hands or a rolling pin to shape each piece of dough into a 12x 1 1/2 inch strip that’s about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the strips to your baking sheets if you have not already done so, spacing them about 3 inches apart.

Lightly dip the end of a spreading knife in flour and then make an indentation down the middle of each strip, going about halfway down into the strip’s thickness. (Your strips will expand to be about 1 3/4 inches wide). Spread about 1 tbsp of jam down the indentation of each strip.

Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms have lightly browned, turning the sheets around halfway through baking. Cool them on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the strips to a rack to cool completely by carefully lifting and placing the parchment paper/baking liner. If you plan to freeze these, do it after they are cooled before you glaze them.

To glaze the cookies: 
In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, salt, water, and almond extract. The glaze should be thick enough to hold its shape when you are drizzling it. Add more powdered sugar or water as needed. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle the glaze over the tops of the strips. Let the strips sit until the glaze is set (about 30 minutes) and then transfer them to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the cookies on the diagonal to make 1-inch thick diamond shapes.

*Adapted from “Fine Cooking”

Assess Your Risk, Community, Early Detection, Personal Stories

I collected my family health history. You should too.

Here we are, in the midst of the holiday season! The holidays create warm, joyous memories of family and friends–memories that can be held close as a sustaining thought on challenging days. As we look forward to a peaceful time filled with those we love, let’s commit to creating a new memory of putting our health first.

I can remember creating this memory last year with my family and all the valuable knowledge I gained from it. Leave it to my mother to make Christmas over the top, and this year was no different. Excitedly, she walked into the living room with a giant craft board and an announcement that we would be planning our very first family reunion. Overjoyed by the opportunity to get together with family I’ve never met, we began to write down names of family members to invite. Inevitably, this conversation turned into one about our family tree. As we went through each name, I listened intently to the stories my mom told of her memories with family members I hadn’t met, including their health history. Learning about my family history of high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes definitely was a light bulb moment of how their genetic makeup can influence my own. Knowing your family health history can help you identify if you if a higher-than-usual chance of common disorders.

I came across Bright Pink’s risk assessment tool this past October and was blown away with how easy and intuitive it was to plug in my details and discover my risk levels for breast and ovarian cancer. I jumped at the chance of sharing the risk assessment tool with our Beautiful Brown Girls community. Beautiful Brown Girls is a social organization for women of color that focuses on creating unique experiences that create a world that runs on love, inspiration, and acceptance. We pride ourselves on creating community and sister circles. We have learned that we are our sister’s keeper, which includes making sure each sister is proactively making healthy decisions.

Several deadly diseases strike Black Americans harder and more often than others, including breast and ovarian cancer. Part of the fight to change this statistic is knowing your genetic health history and being committed to improving your health education. I was able to use all the knowledge I received from my mother that Christmas morning to answer several simple questions about my family’s health history in Bright Pink’s risk assessment tool. As we sit around to make lifelong memories with our families this holiday, let’s add taking the time to make a new family memory around learning about our family tree to the top of the list.

Assess Your Risk, Community, Early Detection, Personal Stories

“When the test came back, I learned that I carry the BRCA mutation.”

After my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we learned for the first time that a BRCA gene mutation runs in our family tree. At the time, I did not know what BRCA meant nor had given any thought to my own risk of developing cancer. I was 27 years old and a new mom to twin girls. It was not lost on me that I needed to learn more about my risk, to understand my family health history, and to figure out whether I also carried this genetic mutation. Knowing would mean that I could be proactive about my own health and that I could pass valuable health information on to my daughters (and son) when the time was right. I made the decision to see a genetic counselor.

My genetic counselor and I reviewed the health information about my family that I had gathered, looked over statistics, had a thoughtful conversation about the genetic test I would take, and discussed what options were available to me should we learn that I carry the BRCA mutation. He also connected me with resources, like Bright Pink.

When the test came back, I learned that I carry a BRCA mutation. Conversations with my genetic counselor, healthcare professionals, and women at Bright Pink helped me feel like I was part of a team. My team had a clear, decisive offensive strategy to beat this gene. Being BRCA positive can feel overwhelming at times, but having knowledge and a great team can help you to see your opportunity to take control of your health, be proactive, and feel empowered.
Here are my tips if you are considering genetic testing:

1. Assess your risk.

  • Go to assessyourrisk.org. This short quiz asks you questions about your personal health history, your family health history, and how you live your life to give you your baseline risk for breast and ovarian cancer as well as action steps.
  • Gather your family history from both your mom AND dad’s sides before completing Assess Your Risk–it will give you a clearer result with personalized follow up recommendations.

2. Meet with a genetic counselor or a healthcare professional to discuss your family tree, understand your potential risk level, and various options for being proactive.

3. Establish a support system. Whether family, friends, a counselor, or online communities like Bright Pink’s Support Community on Facebook, having a system in place will help ensure that you can find the support you might need as you prepare to receive and act upon your genetic testing results.

Bright Pink is here to support you on your journey towards personalized prevention. Bright Pink has amazing resources on their website, or you can visit ExploreYourGenetic.org to learn more about your genetics and genetic testing.

Assess Your Risk

Bright Pink WON the Blue Cross Blue Shield X MATTER Health Equity Innovation Challenge!

Bright Pink is thrilled to announce that we have been selected as the winner (out of 70 applicants!) of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and MATTER Health Equity Innovation Challenge! Our grand prize includes $15,000 and the opportunity to pilot our Assess Your Risk experience in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield–all rooted in a goal to help address racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast and ovarian cancer risk and reach more black and low-income women with personalized prevention.

Why is this pilot important?

Here is the harsh reality: Black and low-income women are more likely to die from breast and ovarian cancer. Up to 25% of breast and ovarian cancers are due to family history or genetic mutation. Among younger women, African American women have a higher rate of cancers that are associated with hereditary cancer risk, such as triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype that is associated with the BRCA1 gene mutation. This demographic has a breast cancer rate that is two times higher than white women under age 35 and dies three times as often as white women of the same age.

Unfortunately, women at elevated risk due to genetics and family history continue to go unidentified and are therefore not connected to cancer prevention services. An estimated 2.3 million people in the U.S. carry a mutation that puts them at an extremely high risk for cancer, yet an estimated 90 percent are unaware of their risk status.

At Bright Pink, we see an opportunity to close this gap through our digital risk assessment experience, AssessYourRisk.org. Digital tools can be a catalyst for personal prevention because of their accessibility and ability to bring health information to and facilitate ongoing proactive health management with women in their daily lives—on their own terms, in their own environment, from their social feeds. Now is the time to leverage the power of digital, in partnership with healthcare organizations, to address women’s cancer mortality rate disparities … that’s where our pilot with BCBSIL comes in.

What does this pilot opportunity mean, exactly?

Bright Pink is committed to continuous learning, testing, and evolving of our digital programming to meet women where they are and empower them to manage their health proactively. A pilot with BCBSIL will help to accelerate innovation around the Assess Your Risk experience by:

  • Scaling the tool’s reach among women of color and women with low-incomes who have health coverage that affords them the ability to access preventive care.
  • Contributing to research on breast and ovarian cancer risk stratification among women of color who have historically been excluded from breast and ovarian cancer risk studies.
  • Optimizing the risk assessment experience based on insights from BCBSIL leadership and members. Specifically, Bright Pink seeks to better address barriers to care, enhance the tool’s cultural competency, and optimize our multi-channel follow-up strategy based on best practices in digital communication as a driver of health behavior change.

Imagine if every woman in Illinois, every woman in America, had equal opportunity for a bright future because they knew their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, understood the steps they could take to reduce that risk over time, and were empowered to become their own best health advocates? We are confident that this pilot with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois will put us on a better path to achieving this goal.

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