ASCP Members Rally Around Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Share Article

Angelina Jolie’s recent news of opting to have a double mastectomy because she has the BRCA1 gene mutation shows how pertinent organizations such as Bright Pink® are to educating women about their choices for optimum health.

News Image

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) set out to raise $5,000 for Bright Pink®, the organization that empowers young women to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health, by the end of 2012. Thanks to its members, ASCP raised more than $6,000 for this exemplary organization.

Ronald Patterson, HT(ASCP), is involved in Relay for Life at the local level. When he found out about ASCP’s work with Bright Pink, he decided to donate. “I was made aware of the opportunity when I renewed my membership,” Mr. Patterson said. “I wanted to help ASCP with their effort to raise money and awareness.”

Phyllis Walker, MS, MT(ASCP)SBB, is a regular contributor to worthy causes. She recently donated to the American Cancer Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

“ASCP approached me with the idea of donating,” Ms. Walker said. “The idea of supporting Bright Pink is consistent with what I believe. So the minute anyone would ask me to support something like that, I would do it.”

Bright Pink was founded by Lindsay Avner at the age of 23 when she became the youngest woman in the country to undergo a risk-reducing double mastectomy. She tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation that put her at a much higher lifetime risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer—up to 87 percent for breast cancer and up to 54 percent for ovarian cancer. Comparatively, the rate of breast cancer without the gene mutation is about 12 percent and approximately 1.4 percent for ovarian cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.

This week, Oscar winner Angelina Jolie revealed in a New York Times Op-Ed that she opted for a double mastectomy after learning she had the BRCA1 mutation. Ms. Jolie’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 56. After surgery, Ms. Jolie’s likelihood of developing breast cancer was reduced from 87 percent to 5 percent.

At the 2012 ASCP Annual Meeting, celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic shared their own struggles with breast cancer after Giuliana was diagnosed and underwent a double mastectomy at the age of 38 in December 2011. The Rancics, who are proponents of Bright Pink, inspired ASCP members to be more diligent in increasing awareness surrounding breast and ovarian cancer for themselves and their patients.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 have gained publicity in recent years with the Supreme Court case of Association for Molecular Biology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al, the landmark lawsuit challenging whether isolated human genes are patentable.

The plaintiffs in the case, which include ASCP, argue that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law. A decision in the case is expected by the end of June.


About ASCP
Founded in 1922 in Chicago, ASCP is a medical professional society with more than 100,000 member board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologists, pathology residents and fellows, laboratory professionals, and students. ASCP provides excellence in education, certification, and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. To learn more, visit Follow us on Twitter at and connect with us on Facebook at

About Bright Pink®
BE BRILLIANT. BE BOLD. BE BRIGHT PINK.® Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support for high-risk individuals. We are the big sister, the best friend, the trusted advisor, the dependable source of support for everything related to your breast and ovarian health. Visit us online to take our "Assess Your Risk" tool to determine your lifetime risk for breast and ovarian cancer and download helpful questions to ask your doctor, cancer-fighting food shopping guides, and self-awareness tools. For those at high-risk, receive a mentor through our PinkPal one-on-one peer support program or find a local experiential outreach group to get support in a city near you. Brighten Up today at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website