By Janice R
October 13 was designated by Congress back in 2009 as “National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day”. Metastatic Breast Cancer refers to Stage IV breast cancer, where cancer cells spread to other parts of the body including the bones, liver, lungs or brain. This has already hit home for me. In 2011 one of my best friends died as the result of MBC and in 2015, I lost my sister-in-law Julia to MBC.
We commemorate this day every year to not only support those suffering from this condition but also to raise awareness and promote early detection. Before 2009, Breast Cancer Awareness Month was almost exclusively devoted to prevention, screening, and the celebration of those who had survived early stage disease. Metastatic patients felt isolated and excluded from groups that were organized to help those with breast cancer. This feeling of isolation was the spark that resulted in the founding of the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Network in 2004–the first organization solely devoted to the needs of patients with MBC.
Since 2009, new organizations, devoted solely to the needs of MBC patients, have been formed. They speak out, provide information and lobby the government for increased commitment to funding MBC research. So, how can we help? We need to use our collective voice to further public awareness, press for more patient information and call for research focused on MBC so that the lives of 155,000 women and men currently living with MBC are not cut short. For more information, please visit the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network site.
Wear Pink! is an ActioNet awareness initiative, which we combined with our Monthly Birthday Cake Celebration on Friday, 10/12/2018. This year, our theme is “Think Pink, Take Action and Make a Difference”.