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October 13th Is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day – Seriously, Just One Day?

One day is set aside each Breast Cancer Awareness Month to focus on MBC. Yep. One day, seriously?

Many troubling shortcomings regarding the pinking of October have been exposed, but perhaps the most glaring failure of all has been the consistent disregard, yes even shunning, of the metastatic breast cancer community. It’s ironic, frustrating and completely irresponsible (not to mention cruel) to not more fully embrace this segment of the breast cancer community in awareness, support and research efforts. Thankfully, this is slowly changing.

Does living with metastatic breast cancer have to feel so lonely?

Maybe, but then again; maybe not.

October 13th is designated as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Seriously, just one day?

Shouldn’t those with the most need be the most supported?

Women (and men) who die from breast cancer die from metastatic breast cancer.

This is a simple truth that usually gets swept aside or even swept away completely not just in October, but all year long.

With nearly all the focus being on early detection, a woman might think she’s in the clear if she finds and treats her cancer early, but this is not necessarily the case. Early detected cancers can and do sometimes metastasize too. This happened in my family. My mother’s cancer was diagnosed at an early stage. Her cancer metastasized roughly four years later. She died less than six months after that. Early detection was not enough.

We still do not know which cancers will or will not metastasize. We still do not know how to prevent or halt any given metastasis. The best we can offer is slowing it down once it happens.

This is just not good enough.

Metastatic breast cancer is not an easy topic of discussion partly because of the many unknowns and partly because of the fear the topic evokes.

It’s easier to not bring it up during all the awareness hype. It’s not as pink. It’s not as pretty. It’s not as “presentable”.

But present it we must.

We cannot be satisfied with one day in October focused on MBC. One day is not enough; not even close.

Because breast cancer awareness without mets awareness, isn’t awareness at all.

To learn and share the facts about metastatic breast cancer, click here.

Donate to organizations that support metastatic breast cancer outreach and research efforts. I have a few listed on my Mets page.

We will not forget.

Are you living with metastatic breast cancer or do you know someone who is (was)? If yes, what’s one thing you want others to know about it?

Why do you think the metastatic breast cancer community has been left out of the “awareness” for so long?

Do you feel this is changing?

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Saturday 4th of October 2014

I'm not even sure the conversation of metastasizing was thought of or presented to our family as something that might happen until it actually happened. Then we got the statistics and progression of what might happen. So the first occurrence in another part of her body was out of the blue to us. I'm the researcher in the family, I should've known but there wasn't a lot of info about it at the time. Families need to ask the hard questions. "Doctor in you experience and study what is the most common re-occurrence? What are treatment options when it happens? What do we need to know and do now before that might happen?" Be specific, "She had a spot on he breast bone but the vertebra across from her breast bone has been painful." If treatment is presented ask what are the alternatives. There usually are less traveled treatments and you may want to explore them to make an educated decision. Never take the first option at face value, you might return to it but you need to know if there are other choices. All the influx of pink ribbons have kinda made me sad. I finally wrote about Mama. Her cancer went from breast to bone to liver to more bone to brain. It was a very horrible journey.

Ersie Courea

Friday 18th of October 2013

I am a contrarian with an anarchist thinking style. However I was diagnosed on the 13 of October because of those TV ads I kept seeing. I am for aggressive nutrition and exercise from before the peak of breast cancer ie 49. That's when hormone imbalance peaks.It'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO BE HEALTH CONSCIOUS. NO DAIRY, ESP PASTEURISED DAIRY, ALCOHOL AND FIBRE-POOR WHEAT PRODUCTS. NO SUGAR.oTHERWISE i AM ALSO ANTI RIBBON IF IT'S FOR PROFIT.i AM FURIOUS, CURIOUS CANCER SURVIVOR SURVIVING NATURALLY. fIND ME ON WORPRESS.


Friday 18th of October 2013

Ersie, Ironic that you were diagnosed on October 13th. Sorry about that. I agree it's never too early to be health conscious, but it's important to remember that sometimes no matter what a person does or doesn't do, cancer still comes calling. Keep on being furious and curious! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Thursday 17th of October 2013

Nancy, I just posted your blog onto my Cancer Be Glammed Facebook page because I wanted to share your words of wisdom. I totally agree with you that metastatic cancer is still hidden in the closet. I think you are right that fear is a large piece of it. As a breast cancer veteran, I know I am extremely afraid of it. But I also know that fear is one of the worst reasons to remain uneducated and uninformed. Thank you for being such a "fearless friend." Lisa


Thursday 17th of October 2013

Lisa, The veil is starting to be lifted because many are just refusing to keep quiet about it any longer. It's staggering to me how many people still do not realize how many women and men die every year from breast cancer and that the number hasn't changed all that much of late. This is a serious problem with the messaging of pink ribbon culture and I do hold the big players at least partly responsible for this negligence in not educating about the full spectrum of this disease. Thanks for sharing my post and thanks for commenting here. Thanks for ordering my ebook too!

Susan Zager

Monday 14th of October 2013

Thank you for writing this great post. When I originally went to comment I had so much to say that you inspired me to write about this too. It is so important that we keep getting the message out about MBC. I wish that awareness of mets went with breast cancer awareness so people understood those living with mets should always be included in breast cancer awareness. And yes we need more than one day. I hope there's a change in awareness and focus on keeping our fearless friends with mets living longer lives with better treatments and less toxicities.


Tuesday 15th of October 2013

Susan, I agree completely. Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for all you do to educate others about all stages of this disease.


Monday 14th of October 2013

Just wanted to comment on Carolyn's post. You say it like it is! I appreciate that a lot. I am a stage I girl but I grew up with breast cancer, mom, Aunt, Grandmother, now my sister inlaw and myself. I definitely saw the changes in attitude in the people around my family change as my mothers cancer spread and she became stage IV. There is the fear(people do not like to dance with fear) and many simply do not want to think about deaths door slowly opening wider. However there is always hope and I do believe progress (slowly) is being made in the medical world at preventing/slowing the spread. My mother was told she had 6 months and she lived a good life for an additional 7 years. You are so right we are all afraid and people with metastatic breast cancer will ALWAYS be counted in my book! I have hope now that metastatic breast cancer is being talked about more others won't feel compelled to run the other way. The pink crowd just needs to stop sugar coating it so much. A lot more needs to be done besides better screening.

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