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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

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!

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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