One day is not enough!

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – Five Reasons Why One Day Is Not Enough

October 13th each year is designated as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. One day. One day out of 31. Breast Cancer Awareness Month dedicates one measly day to the only kind of breast cancer that kills, the metastatic kind. This is just one more thing Breast Cancer Awareness Month has turned inside out. 

One day is not enough.

There are real people behind the numbers.

What numbers?

The roughly 110 women and men who die each and every day from metastatic breast cancer in the US alone. Wives, sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, neighbors and co-workers. And we must not forget the husbands, brothers, sons, fathers, grandfathers and uncles because yes, men can and do get breast cancer too.

One day is not enough.

Why not?

There are lots of reasons why one day is not enough, but I’ll start with these:

1.  If you or your loved has been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, you or your loved one could become metastatic sometime down the road.

Just because a person is diagnosed at an early stage, this does not mean her/his cancer cannot potentially metastasize and become stage IV later on. And this can happen even many years later. This is not meant to be a scare tactic; it is meant to be fact sharing.

2.  Some women and men are diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer at initial diagnosis. This is also known as a “de novo” diagnosis.

Being diagnosed at any stage is tough, but being initially diagnosed stage IV is beyond tough. Way beyond. And it does not mean the person did anything wrong. The stigma of not catching it early has to end. It must end.

3.  In order to figure out effective ways to prevent, detect and treat metastasis, we need to extensively research everything about stage IV.

We need to try to figure out why some cancers metastasize, how to slow it down when it does happen, or better yet how to stop it in its tracks. We also need to figure out better and less harsh treatment options for those living with stage IV now. We need more research dollars spent specifically on mets related research. Lots more.

4.  It’s only logical to support those in greatest need is it not?

Stage IV women and men deserve MORE support, not less, which ironically has often been the case in awareness campaigns of past and in research dollar allotments as well. We simply cannot allow this to be the case any longer.

5.  All breast cancer patients matter.

We must fully embrace, include and advocate for our stage IV sisters and brothers because we are all in this together and because it’s the right thing to do.

One day is not enough.

My mother died from metastatic breast cancer in 2008. Her cancer was detected early, “only” a stage 2 cancer four years earlier. A lumpectomy and radiation were supposed to be enough. They weren’t. I have had too many friends die from this disease as well. Too many families have been impacted by metastatic breast cancer, just too many.

I will not forget.

None of us should.

And one day is not enough.

#wewillnotforget

What would you like to say about metastatic breast cancer today?

Do you think one day is enough?

Who do you remember on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day and every day?

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One day is not enough!

 Image  via Metastatic Breast Cancer Network

8 thoughts on “Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – Five Reasons Why One Day Is Not Enough

  1. Excellent points. Thank you for this article.
    47 years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and got a few months. Two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and I get a few years. I am grateful for the progress, but in almost 50 years, you would think we could do better.

  2. Nancy, thank you for writing about this important topic. The reasons you mentioned should be good enough to raise concern and to allow more funding for research. We should be focusing on metastatic breast cancer all year round, until we find a cure (or at least better treatments). Reason #1 has always scared the big Jesus out of me! It is crazy to me that a lot of patients don’t know this. I am sad to say that I just got into a back and forth with another patient over this. Cancer shouldn’t separate patients, we are all in this together.

    Today I think of my family members who have died from metastatic breast cancer. Actually, I think of them often. And everyone else who is struggling. I also think of myself, because this could be me one day. (People hate when I say this but it’s the truth!)

    1. Rebecca, I know what you mean about #1 be pretty darn scary. We should definitely be focusing more on metastatic disease all year round. It boggles my mind how little attention it has received for so long. This is changing, but man, it’s about time. In fact, it’s way past time. Thank you for sharing and I’m sorry you’ve had so many family members die from mbc.

  3. Nancy,

    I think you know where I stand on allotting a day or a month to a certain cause: I personally don’t see any rhyme or reason to it. BCAM, for example, is ridiculous because those affected by breast cancer aren’t just aware of it during one month. One day of “awareness” for MBC is ridiculous. Those with MBC and their loved ones think about it 365 days a year, I’m sure.

    1. Beth, Yes one day. It’s crazy. Even male breast cancer awareness gets a whole week. Not that it shouldn’t, but metastatic bc deserves so much more attention than it gets and of course, most importantly, deserves so much more research funding.

  4. I’m just confused whether a very low grade (slowest growing of 5% cell division rate) hormone receptor positive lobular breast cancer stage 3a can come back later as more aggressive or kill someone. This is the most confusing part as I’m always wondering what type of original breast cancer those with metastatic breast cancer had to begin with. Oncologists have acknowleged grade 1’s are less likely to recur but it’s not really clear high how my risk is. I refused tamoxifen and refused chemo (chemo was less crucial since it was slow growing). i refused for fertility reasons as I’m 40 with no children but need to try soon before it’s too late fertility wise. I’m 3 years post diagnosis taking all the natural supplements I can. I’m yet to meet someone who originally had grade 1 lobular breast cancer…most are ductal and grade 2 or above (not to be confused with stage).

    1. Lisa, Any sort of cancer can potentially metastasize, as far as I know. Of course, every cancer’s biology directly impacts the odds for that woman.

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