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.
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.
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.