Did you know October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day?
Yes, metastatic breast cancer gets its own awareness day designation. It should be getting a whole lot more, but I guess one day is better than no day at all.
Friend and fellow blogger, Katherine O’Brien from I Hate Breast Cancer, recently proposed her idea to fellow bloggers of taking this day to remember those each of us has lost to breast cancer; thank you Katherine. That’s what I’m doing today.
I’m remembering my mother and all the others. My mother died from metastatic breast cancer on March 6, 2008. She was originally diagnosed in February 2004 after finding the lump in her breast on my birthday. Her cancer recurred in 2007.
Sometimes I don’t think people realize when someone dies of breast cancer; the odds are they died from metastatic breast cancer. It isn’t the initial lump that kills. Breast cancer becomes deadly when it metastasizes or spreads to other areas of the body, most commonly the bones, brain, liver or lungs. Mestastatic breast cancer is considered stage IV breast cancer. There is no stage V. Presently it is unknown why some cancers metastasize and others do not. Today about 155,000 people are living with MBC.
I cannot figure out the reason why metastatic breast cancer gets so little attention during the craziness of Pinktober and the rest of the year too for that matter. And the dismal amount of dollars being spent on MBC research makes no sense to me either. The focus seems to be almost entirely on early detection, awareness and education. These are all admirable and necessary areas to tend to, but again, the other end of the spectrum is the end that is deadly.
It’s my hope that more dollars will be funneled into research, specifically metastatic breast cancer research.
I whole heartedly back prevention research as well. Preventing cancer in the first place should always be the top priority.
However until we can prevent cancer, or stop it in its tracks once it strikes, we must keep trying to unlock the secrets of why it metastasizes, why it kills. We must also keep trying to find less harsh treatments that offer better quality of life and better rates of survival for those who are presently living with MBC. We must keep trying to save lives and MBC still takes some 40,000 lives each year, roughly one every fourteen minutes.
Please check out this link and learn 13 facts everyone should know about metastatic breast cancer. Granted, it’s not an easy or pleasant topic to learn about, but that doesn’t mean we should not do so.
On this day, remember. Remember those you’ve lost. Remember those others have lost. Remember those presently living with metastatic breast cancer; for them, it’s not about pretty pink ribbons. And it’s not about just one day.
That’s what I’m doing today. I’m remembering…
How about you?
Who will you remember?