There seems to be two types of people in this world: those who watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and those who don’t. I find myself in the former camp. I love watching KUWTK and have watched at least three episodes/day during maternity leave thanks to E!’s almost round-the-clock obsession with them. For all of the fun, glam, and drama offered up on the show, there are occasional moments when they discuss an issue of significance to someone outside of their family.
During last night’s episode, Kris convinces her girls to get tested for the BRCA1 gene, which can determine a person’s likelihood to develop breast and ovarian cancer. Given their family history of breast cancer, Kris believes that it is a wise thing for them to do from an early detection perspective. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe follow suit, and they all learn that they are not carrying the gene.
While it turned out to be a happy ending for the “K Krew,” there are many women who find out the exact opposite. Do you remember when Angelina Jolie announced that she’d undergone a preventive double mastectomy? She made that decision after completing a similar test that revealed she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer.
Although I don’t have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, I have known about the BRCA1 gene and testing for many years thanks to the efforts of Bright Pink. Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. It was founded by Lindsay Avner, who at the age of 23 became the youngest woman in the country to have a preventive double mastectomy after undergoing genetic testing to assess her risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Lindsay is one of my personal SHE-ros and the work that Bright Pink has done over the years has been phenomenal. Every year, the organization delivers educational presentations to women and health professionals across the country. I have had the opportunity to attend a few of these events and the information has been priceless. From breast self-exam tips to learning how to advocate for your health, I have learned so much!
Last night, I kept hoping that the Kardashian/Jenner clan might give a shout out to Bright Pink because duh… they are awesome. But, it didn’t happen. So, I’m giving that shoutout today. Check out the Bright Pink website to not only learn more about their work but to also find a breadth of resources, including a risk assessment tool.