Tuesday, October 20, 2015

THERE IS NO CURE FOR CANCER

I've been writing about Pinktober since I started this blog in 2011. See 2011's The Hunt for Pink October, 2012's Six-Word Memoir, 2013's Pinktober Preparedness, 2014's Sugarcoating Cancer. (For more about the Pinktober phenomenon, last October I compiled a list of posts written by my bloggy BC friends; click here for a good read to go with your coffee this morning.)

This "Pinktober 2015," I'm writing about Metastatic Breast Cancer. 


Last Tuesday, October 13, 2015, was Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Did you miss it? Exactly. There is but ONE day a year devoted to metastatic breast cancer. But an entire MONTH of October days devoted to breast cancer awareness. Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't there be 30 days in October dedicated to metastatic breast cancer awareness? Maybe the last day (Halloween) we could dress up in pink pumpkins and talk about "non-metastatic" breast cancer awareness.

Seriously, we have to talk about these pink elephants in the room.


Let's say you are aware that you have breast cancer. How long will you live? No one knows, because:


There is no cure for cancer.

The medical community doesn't know who will and who won't become metastatic. So let's review what Metastatic Breast Cancer is. When breast cancer spreads beyond the breast and takes up residence in a vital organ (your lungs or your liver, for example), it is still called breast cancer (not lung or liver cancer) but it is incurable once it spreads, or metastasizes. Try as we might, we can sometimes halt it's progression but not forever. That's because:

There is no cure for cancer.

It's a reality that in America in 2015, more than 40,000 people will die of metastatic cancer. (To understand the power of that number, check out METUP Dying for a Cure.) All anyone diagnosed with any stage of breast cancer can hope for is a long courtship with NED (No Evidence of Disease). Why? Because:

There is no cure for cancer. 

Yet we continue to open our wallets widely each October to buy pink merchandise that makes money for the person selling it (yes, yes, they also donate a bit of money to various charities, but that happens after you buy the product, which they are making money off of. Donating directly to research makes the most sense.

Until there is a cure for cancer,
there is only NED. So here are a few ways you can help.
  • READ 13 Facts About Metastatic Breast Cancer (written by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network), click here.
  • FIND help, insight and resources into living with Metastatic Breast Cancer (by Living Beyond Breast Cancer), click here.
"You should sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week. We can be the generation that stops breast cancer once and for all by figuring out what causes this disease and how to prevent it!" —Army of Women
  • Dr. Love has also created the Health of Women (HOW) study, which is really easy to participate in. It's all-inclusive — meaning anyone, anywhere in the world, man or woman, can take part in this totally online study It doesn't matter if you have cancer, or never had it. In HOW's words:
"The HOW study is a first-of-its-kind international online study for women and men with and without a history of breast cancer.  We will collect information about your health, your job, your diet, and your family history that can help us get a better understanding of breast cancer and its potential causes."
  • To learn more about The Army of Women, click here. 
  • To learn more about HOW, click here

5 comments:

  1. Since I have been educated through blogs such as yours Renn, I refuse to buy into purchasing pink items for breast cancer research, I totally believe we need to make sure all the proceeds go into finding a cure for this killing disease, no once should profit from people dying...

    It is nice to see you back... have a really great week xox

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  2. Renn, thank you for sharing this information. I can't wait until Pinktober is over. I don't buy anything pink and I make sure to tell people not to pink for me. If they want to help, to donate to reputable organizations that are actually focusing on research. These types of initiatives should be happening all year round and should be the main focus.

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    1. Dear Renn,

      What a great job you've done with this post! I, too, find it extremely sad that there is only ONE day for MBC, that the public is unaware that the death rate, 40,000 people per year, has not changed in decades.
      Let me encourage your readers - joining Dr. Love's Army of Women and HOW is so easy, and each of us can provide meaningful input to her research endeavors.

      Much love and gratitude,

      Karen

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  3. Hello Renn,
    Thank you for posting this. It amazes me how little people don't know about cancer. THERE IS NO CURE FOR CANCER. That statement is powerful. Pinktober is ridiculous!

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    1. Great to hear from you, Shannon! I hope all is well! Thank you for stopping by. Thank goodness Pinktober is over — for this year.

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Your comments are encouraging — and encouraged!