ZTA and Bright Pink hosted a breast and ovarian cancer workshop in the BLUU Ballroom Thursday night to educate college women on the risk factors and how to talk to their doctors about the subject. (Meg Hemmerle/TCU360)

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TCU students brushed up on their breast cancer knowledge with the help of a non-profit organization. 

TCU’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority hosted a workshop led by Jackie Mersch, an education ambassador for Bright Pink, on Thursday to educate college women about breast and ovarian cancer.

Bright Pink is a non-profit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Over 300 TCU women attended the workshop held in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.

The workshop was interactive, having the audience use their cell phones to quiz each other on their knowledge about breast and ovarian cancer.

“It was cool to take the quiz to see how at risk I am. That’s something I want to send to my friends so they know too,” Brooke Battaglia, a sophomore nursing major, said.

From the reactions, people said they were surprised to learn they did not know as much about breast and ovarian cancer as they thought.  

“I was shocked by how prevalent breast cancer is and how little I knew about the risk factors and what to do,” Battaglia said. “Going forward I’m just going to take the advice she gave us about our diet, exercise, and being self-aware.”  

Those who attended the workshop learned about the risk factors, symptoms and what to talk about with their doctor.

“A good piece of advice I would say is self-awareness,” Mersch said. “Be self-aware, not just in your health history, not just thinking about breast and ovarian cancer, but really just self-awareness about who you are, what you want in life, the choices that you’re making because that is just good life-long advice for anyone.”

Mersch said she hopes that workshops like this take away the fear factor when talking about breast and ovarian cancer and make people more familiar and understanding when something is not normal.

 Sophomore Kiana Stephen, a member of ZTA who planned the workshop, said education was an important part of the event.

“Our goal with this is just to educate women at this age because it’s better to know now than too late about breast cancer about what they can do to help their chances of not getting it or what they should do if they’re high risk,” Stephen said.

In November, Zeta is hosting their philanthropy event, Mr. ZTA, to raise money for the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation. The foundation benefits breast cancer research and education. For more information on Bright Pink, you can visit its website.