Close Icon
Browsing Tag

early detection

dr.-wendy-mcdonald-live-that-prevention-life
#BCAM, Assess Your Risk, Early Detection, Hey Sis

Dr. Wendy McDonald: Live That Prevention Life

Prevention Tips & How Early Detection Can Increase Your Odds of Survival

Knowledge is power. Every year for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, folks across the country take part in essential conversations about protecting our health and happiness. Through these conversations, they start to build self-knowledge—and this year, Bright Pink wants to take awareness to the next level.

This year, Bright Pink is all about Breast Cancer ACTION Month. Turn to Bright Pink throughout October to access the tools you need to be all about it, too.

To get started, all-star OB/GYN and blogger Dr. Wendy McDonald, aka Dr. Every Woman, breaks down how to turn self-awareness into cancer prevention, in plain language that everyone can understand. 

Check it out, and get your questions answered. And make sure to read all the way to the end to see the next step to protect your bright future during Breast Cancer Awareness &  ACTION Month! And, stop by Bright Pink’s Facebook page to watch our Facebook Live with Dr. Wendy.

How Early Detection Can Protect You from Breast Cancer

Dr. Wendy: First, we need to review what early detection means. 

Stage 0 and Stage 1: Both Stage 0 and Stage 1 breast cancer have over a 99% 5-year survival rate.  That means that in the 5 years after diagnosis, 99% of people will still be alive. 

Stage 2: Now, in Stage 2, the breast cancer has either spread to the lymph nodes or is significantly larger. The 5-year survival rate for Stage 2 is 93%.

Stage 3: In Stage 3, the cancer is even larger or has spread to many lymph nodes. Now the 5-year survival rate has dropped to around 85%. 

This is why early detection is so extremely important. The earlier you detect a cancer, the more likely you are to beat it. 

So many people don’t want to find out that they have cancer because they think that it is a death sentence. Instead, they should think of early breast cancer detection as a new lease on life, an opportunity to beat cancer because it was caught early. That should be a thing. 

Tools to Prepare Yourself for Early Detection & Cancer Prevention
Dr. Wendy: Personal risk assessment are a great place to start! Risk assessments analyze information that you provide to predict your personal risk of breast cancer. These tools are extremely useful in identifying whether or not you need additional screening and testing above what is recommended for the average woman .

If you know that your first- or second-degree family member(s) had a certain type of cancer, you will be more prepared to screen and catch any abnormalities. Remember that the earlier you detect breast cancer, the more likely you are to survive and fight back.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re encouraging all women to #AssessThenAct: take the Assess Your Risk quiz, and then create a preventive action plan with your personalized results. It only takes 5 minutes!

Take Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk Quiz

Important Next Steps After Completing a Personal Risk Assessment
Dr. Wendy: Have a conversation with your doctor or healthcare provider. If your risk is elevated especially, further or different screening should be initiated.

Common Breast Cancer Risk Factors to Watch For, Especially in African American Women

Dr. Wendy: Research has shown that black women have significantly denser breast that caucasian women. Breast density refers to the amount of fibroglandular tissue present in the breast. “Fibroglandular tissue appears as white on the mammogram, making it difficult to visually detect breast cancers.” The increased density is noted even when other demographic factors like age, weight, and pregnancy history are factored in.

Increased breast density can absolutely make finding breast cancer harder. A breast cancer will also light up as white on traditional mammography, which can be hidden behind fibroglandular tissue. I often send my patients with dense breasts to have a 3-D mammogram and an ultrasound if needed. That different type of imaging, used in combination with mammography, can detect a higher number of abnormalities than traditional mammography alone. 

Dr. Wendy Weighs In On Why She Thinks People Don’t Assess Their Risk

Dr. Wendy: Lack of Family Health History: Honestly, I think that one of the barriers is knowledge of family history. Many families in various cultures just don’t share. If grandmother died of something, that was “her business.” 

Taboo Conversations: We also sometimes don’t want to “speak” illness, as if talking about it causes it in some way. While I believe in the power of positive thinking and prayer, we should be informed about what is going on in our family so that we can prevent or catch issues early in the future.

The Recommended Age for Assessing Your Risk

Dr. Wendy: 18 or younger. Why not? Ask your parents and extended family. Breast cancer family history, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer are all relevant, as are habits and personal characteristics.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re encouraging all women to #AssessThenAct: take the Assess Your Risk quiz, and then create a preventive action plan with your personalized results. It only takes 5 minutes!

Take Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk Quiz

A huge thank you to Dr. Wendy McDonald for helping us put together this guide to early detection, self-awareness, and risk factors! Check out more of her advice and work on her amazing website. And, don’t forget to visit Bright Pink’s Facebook page to watch our Facebook Live with Dr. Wendy.

P.S. Dr. Wendy wants to give a gentle reminder: men can get breast cancer, too.

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.

__

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!

Fueling our Mission

2017 Year In Review


This year, Bright Pink…

  • celebrated our 10th Anniversary,
  • launched our first ever monthly giving program, FundHER,
  • celebrated mom by having a meaningful conversation about health history with #GoAskYourMother,
  • drove thousands of women to schedule their annual well-woman’s exam on #CallYourDoctorDay,
  • taught tens of thousands of women the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to be #OvarianSelfAware,
  • inspired thousands of women to enroll in mobile breast health reminders #LivingMyBreastLife,
  • armed women with the questions to ask their family about health history on Thanksgiving with a #ThanksgivingGamePlan,
  • and partnered with generous supporters and sponsors to make it all possible.

As the year comes to a close, join us in reflecting on all we’ve accomplished since Bright Pink was founded in 2007. To date…

Thank you for your commitment to our work, for your belief in the power of personalized prevention, and for helping shape a brighter future – one in which every woman knows her risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and takes action to manage that risk proactively.

With gratitude,
Katie Thiede, CEO
Katie Thiede, CEO

Remember, if you haven’t yet made your 2017 tax-deductible contribution to support our work, now’s the time! Visit http://BrightPink.org/Donate to give today.

Community

Pink for a Purpose by CME Group

CME Group takes supporting Bright Pink to a whole new level through multi-office activation, department fundraising competitions, educational workshops and more! Through a meaningful corporate donation and creative employee fundraising, they’re on track to make a gift of $160,000 to Bright Pink in 2017 through the annual Pink for a Purpose campaign. We sat down with Kristin Wood, Senior Director, Internal Communications and Community Relations at CME Group, to learn more about this best-in-class corporate partnership.

PS: Your company can make Bright Pink’s mission a part of company culture, too! Learn more about becoming a sponsor today. 

Tell us a bit about CME Group, the Foundation, and your philanthropic priorities?

Giving back to the communities in which our employees and clients live and work is important to CME Group.  We are fortunate that so many of our employees, as well as members of our larger exchange community, share our commitment to give back and support our charitable initiatives.  The CME Group Community Foundation, which focuses on helping with education, children in need, and health and human services is an important part of our philanthropic efforts, and it is through the Foundation that we make our corporate donation to Bright Pink and match donations made by our employees.

Why Bright Pink?

Managing risk is our business, and we appreciate that Bright Pink has made it theirs, too. As the only national non-profit focused on the early detection and prevention of breast and ovarian cancer, Bright Pink is meeting an important need for the at-risk community.  Knowledge is power, and Bright Pink is empowering young women across the country to live proactively at a young age.  That is a cause we are proud to stand behind.

What activities take place at the office or elsewhere during the campaign?

We host kickoff receptions in each of our offices, which is a fun way to celebrate the campaign results from the prior year and get everyone excited to start again.  In addition to our corporate fundraising page, we also have a number of employees with personal connections to the cause who make their own fundraising appeals.  Their efforts have been a big boost to us and also reinforce just how many people’s lives have been affected by breast and ovarian cancer.  While fundraising is important, we also want to educate our employees about the risks associated with these cancers.  We partner with Bright Pink to host Brighten Up Workshops at our offices each year, which have been well attended and received.  For us, it comes down to raising money and awareness.

What has been the most creative department fundraiser? The most successful?

This year, our Corporate Marketing & Communications Division is hosting a “Pink Pong Tournament”, which is a clever spin on our pink for a purpose theme to raise money for the cause.  Our Legal Department has been a phenomenal supporter of the campaign, sponsoring a bake sale for the past two years that has raised more than $6,000. The effort has even gone global, with our Bangalore office sponsoring a fair to celebrate the Diwali holiday with all proceeds benefiting Bright Pink. These are just a few examples of the enthusiasm the campaign has generated among our team.

How has this partnership impacted CME Group employees personally?

One of the most meaningful aspects of our campaign is a “Share Your Story” feature on our company intranet.  We’ve had a number of employees open up about what the fight against breast and ovarian cancer means to them personally.  Across our fundraising pages, you see messages being added to donations to honor colleagues, friends and family members who have suffered from breast and ovarian cancer.  This cause really hits home for our employees, which makes it even more of a priority for us.

What advice do you have for others organizing corporate philanthropy?

First, you have to pick a cause that you believe in and that you know will resonate with your community.  Then you have to find the right partner.  Bright Pink has been amazing to work with and really responsive to our needs.  But above all else, you have to be creative and give everyone a chance to get involved, whether that’s through fundraising or donating, or even just becoming more informed about the cause and why it matters.

Become a Bright Pink Sponsor

Community

Announcing Our Brighten Up College Tour!

    aerie logo

Bright Pink and Zeta Tau Alpha are hitting the road to Brighten Up college campuses across the country by educating and empowering students to be proactive about their breast and ovarian health! Workshops will be proudly hosted by the school’s local Zeta Tau Alpha chapter. Aerie is also joining us for the ride to lead a wellness activity & provide fun freebies for all attendees. We invite students to join us for this interactive health experience on their very own campus. Attendees will walk away with life-saving knowledge to practice wellness and prevention.

See below for a list of campuses we’re visiting this fall. We hope to see you there!

Virginia Tech – COMPLETE!
September 19, 2017 @ 6:00 PM
Squires Student Center
Commonwealth Ballroom
290 College Ave., Room 225
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Baylor University – COMPLETE!
October 9, 2017 @ 7:00 PM
Fountain Mall
1325 S. 5th Street
Waco, TX 76706

University of Maryland – COMPLETE!
October 11, 2017 @ 7:00 PM
Adele H. Stamp Student Union
Grand Ballroom, Room 1206
3972 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742

University of Washington – RESCHEDULED
TBD

College of Charleston
TBD

P.S. – Want to bring a Brighten Up to YOUR college campus? Request a workshop here

Power Boobies pin
We Love

Using Art for Empowerment: The Power Boobies Story

Hyewon Grigoni created Power Boobies to support her cousin, Mary, during her journey with breast cancer. Now she’s donating a portion of the proceeds to Bright Pink in an effort to educate women across the United States to be proactive about their breast and ovarian health. Check out her Power Boobies enamel pins here and here.

I’ve always made stuff. I think most artists say that. I paint and draw and sew, and sometimes, I get to make stuff for companies and individuals. I know it’s a privilege to be able to live as an artist. The older I get, the less seriously I take myself, the more I love my own work. As a kid I loved Vincent Van Gogh and Marc Chagall. In college I loved Lucian Freud. For the last ten years or so Maira Kalman has been my favorite artist.

My cousin-in-law Mary is amazing. She is super talented, super loving, and also super funny. She is someone I look up to so hard I have to crane my neck. That kind of person. And then, Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I loved her the first time we met. I knew I’d scored in the in-law department. She’s the kind of person who brightens anything she’s a part of. A room, a conversation, a life. She’s genuine, she’s hilarious, you can’t meet this woman and not love her. That’s why it was frustrating not knowing how to support her.

She lives on the other side of the country, but I wanted to do something supportive for her in a tangible way.

I started looking for something to send her in the mail and couldn’t find anything that made sense, so eventually I just started sketching out ideas for the kind of thing I wanted to send her. I wanted to make her something that gave her a sense of empowerment, to encourage her daily; “you’ve got this!” but also something that was a little funny, to give her something light and silly to counter the darkness. It’s going to be a few years before a full recovery is achieved, so I wanted to make something that would last, that she could just have with her at all times, even if it meant just keeping it in her pocket like a secret superhero power kind of thing.

Power Boobies pin on sleeve.

One day I was visiting my mom when I sketched out what would become Power Boobies. My mom is a cancer survivor too, and thought it was a little nutty, but I knew I had made exactly the thing that I wanted to give to Mary.

The process took a while – I’d never designed an enamel pin in my life. I designed it by hand at first, then worked it up on my computer to be able to send the design to a company who could manufacture it. Since I’ve never had someone else actually make something I designed, it was important to me to have it made in the U.S. So I started calling pin shops. But all the companies I called had a minimum order of 75-200. That was a bit unexpected. But I’d set out to make this thing for Mary so I just went ahead and had them made.

I couldn’t wait to send it to Mary. I knew she’d either love it or hate it, and thankfully she loved it. I asked her what she thought if I put some pins on my Etsy site and she said to go for it. I was surprised when people started buying the pins and more so when they opened up to tell me their stories.

It is a huge honor to play even the tiniest part in someone’s life journey in this way. 

It wasn’t my intention to make a product to sell when I made Power Boobies. So once they started taking off, I wanted to find an organization with a tangible impact on women’s health. I found that in Bright Pink and wanted to partner with them through Power Boobies.

Women have worn the Power Boobies for themselves as supporters, fighters and survivors. Men and women have bought them for their loved ones who have just recently been given a diagnosis. Last week a woman bought them as party favors for her “Tata Titties” party before a risk-reducing double mastectomy.

I am so grateful to be able to spread a little bit of joy and encouragement to other women in their fight against breast and ovarian cancer.

I know that in many ways, I could have been a better friend and supporter to Mary. But one thing I’ve learned by now is how important it is to be genuine. To show up and show love as genuinely as you can – and as much as they need or don’t need. Don’t be afraid to connect with someone whose situation you might not fully understand. And also offer specific help: something as simple as bringing dinner and a stack of books, cleaning the bathroom, or walking their dog can mean so much. There are infinite ways to show love and encouragement.

Power Boobies enamel pin

Power Boobies started as something small and very personal between my cousin-in-law Mary and I, but it has turned into so much more than that for so many people. I am honored and humbled to be helping women, both by providing comfort and encouragement through the pins, but also by supporting Bright Pink with the proceeds.

 

If you’d like to use your passion or talents to fundraise for Bright Pink like Hyewon, check out VIPink for more information. Get your Power Boobies enamel pin here and here for $10. 

 

 

X

Join the Bright Pink Movement

Be the first to hear progress updates, inspiring stories, and new ways you can act to prevent breast and ovarian cancer.

BP Loading
Thanks for your patience as we process your information. You'll be redirected shortly.
X

One more step to get signed up for breast and ovarian health updates.

We just need a little information and you'll be all set!

BP Loading
Thanks for your patience as we process your information. You'll be redirected shortly.