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#BCAM, Assess Your Risk, Prevention, ZTA

Think Pink and Practice Prevention

Bright Pink partners with Zeta Tau Alpha to promote prevention on campus and in communities.

You’ve probably seen the statistic 1 in 8. That’s the average woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, about 12%. But did you know that not every woman is at “average” risk of developing this disease? 

There are many factors that impact your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, including your personal and family health history. From your lifestyle, to grandma’s health, to the age you started your period – it all affects your risk level. Women who have a family history of cancer or a genetic mutation in the BRCA genes may have as high as a 70% chance of developing cancer. That’s a lot different than 12%!

No matter your risk level, you can take your health into your own hands and reduce your risk. Knowing your risk level allows you to determine what actions you should take. That could be as simple as making sure you break a sweat five times a week or as involved as talking to your doctor about increasing your regular screening.

When you know your cancer risk, you can take action to reduce it – and perhaps prevent a diagnosis altogether. That’s why Bright Pink developed the Bright Lite in collaboration with Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA)–a women’s fraternity dedicated to fighting breast cancer. Through a 3-year partnership, Bright Pink and ZTA have helped to educate over 35,000 young women across the country on breast and ovarian cancer prevention. This year, we aim to build on ZTA’s longstanding commitment to breast cancer awareness by showing how individual action can influence entire communities. 

The Bright Lite is a bite-sized online educational workshop that equips viewers with the breast and ovarian health knowledge they need to be proactive. Bright Lite breaks down why it is so important to know your breast and ovarian cancer risk, what factors can increase or reduce your risk, and how you can determine your personal cancer risk. It also teaches you handy habits you can start now to reduce your risk of cancer throughout your life. Most importantly, the Bright Lite directly links viewers to assessyourrisk.org/zta where ZTA chapter members, alumnae, and YOU can take 5 minutes to learn about your personal risk.

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Bright Pink is excited to share this essential knowledge with ZTA and continue working with its members to raise mass awareness about the importance of knowing and acting on your personal risk. What better way to fight breast cancer than preventing it in the first place? The preventive, pink future looks bright!

Community, Early Detection, Personal Stories

Shannon’s Story: Bright Pink and ZTA in action

This post was originally published in 2016. 

Shannon Lane knows that you don’t need to personally have breast cancer to be affected by it. That’s why, as President of Northwestern University’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the journalism senior has been instrumental in spreading Bright Pink’s mission across campus.

“Our philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness, and I am proud that it’s not just lip service,” she said. “Young women might not know enough about their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, so our work with Bright Pink is a very practical way for us to tap into the education aspect of what we do.”

Lane’s first encounter with Bright Pink was during an Educational Workshop held at her sorority chapter two years ago. Since then, she’s hosted a Brighten Up on campus open to all Greek life members, and her chapter held a school-wide presentation in 2016.

Despite her enthusiasm about the cause, it can be difficult to grab the attention of young women who have spent their lives thinking breast and ovarian health is a topic for those in their 50s.

Bright Pink’s teamwork with Zeta Tau Alpha helps us reach the next generation, which results in more proactive young women and more lives saved. Since 2015, Bright Pink has educated tens of thousands of Zeta Tau Alpha members annually.

After her first interaction with Bright Pink, Lane signed up for Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminders™ — text message reminders to stay on top of her breast health. Before Bright Pink, she didn’t think Breast Self-Awareness applied to her age group.

“Bright Pink gives people the tools they need to take actual action,” she said. “They take a step beyond just awareness, and give young women practical knowledge that they can use in their everyday lives.”

Lane hopes that college students across the nation will see Zeta Tau Alpha as more than just a pink ribbon, and will begin to associate the sorority with action-oriented breast cancer awareness and education.

What’s the main thing Bright Pink has taught her?

“You can never start thinking about your long-term health early enough. There are always things you can do and steps you can take.”

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