Breast cancer is a devastating disease. Historically, women have been told to perform breast self examination as a way to detect cancer early and improve outcomes (although recent literature does not support this). Because of this, Vibes, a Chicago based mobile marketing and technology company, is part of a campaign that sends out monthly text messaging reminders to women and encourage them to perform a breast self-test.
Vibes has teamed up with Bright Pink, a non-profit national organization that, according to the website, has an array of dynamic and engaging programs and services, that provide education, support and a sense of community to young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Vibes empowers young women to take control of their breast and ovarian health, thus granting them the freedom and peace of mind to live a fulfilling life.
The text messaging campaign is known as Underwire Alerts. By texting PINK to 59227, you too can receive these free monthly alerts. They are sent out on the first Wednesday of every month. There is also a form that can be filled out on the website that will allow you to receive the monthly text message. Standard data rates and charges from your carrier still apply.
Users can also opt to receive an email in lieu of a text message by visiting the website.
“What started as a trial has turned into a real program with a really big effect,” says Alex Campbell, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. “It’s going really well.”
This text messaging approach encourages women to perform these monthly self-exams with the aim of the campaign being that it becomes a routine habit.
“A lot of breast cancer awareness is focused on people more toward the over-30 demographic” Campbell says. “[This] approach was: Get the right habits in place early on so it’s part of your life.
The actual messages that users receive are creative, to say the least.
“The alerts, created by Bright Pink, use lighthearted messages, such as ‘mind your melons’ or ‘treasure your chest,’ designed to appeal to younger women. ‘It’s not just, ‘Hey, here’s a reminder to do a self-exam,’ Campbell says. ‘It’s taking that and [coming] up with the right wording so it’s not like your mom nagging you.’ “
For those that do not know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Iltifat Husain, MD, edited the first paragraph to include the USPTF’s recommendations