For all the pink hoopla of October, it amazes me that metastatic disease gets so little attention. It’s estimated that around 155,000 people are living with MBC. Metastatic disease accounts for 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S. And yet, very little attention is paid in all the breast cancer news.
This is one of the problems I (and a lot of other BC survivors) have with all the “awareness” and the positive, feel good breast cancer stories. Yes, we face breast cancer and continue with our lives. Yes, many people find new meaning in their lives. Yes, life is good, even after a cancer diagnosis. Yes, it’s great that people feel strong and empowered in spite of a cancer diagnosis – after all, that’s what Life-Cise is all about!
But breast cancer – any cancer – is more than a ribbon. It’s more than a walk. It’s more than something to schedule and take care of so you can make your next meeting.
Early detection does improve chances of long-term survival, but anyone, no matter how early their cancer was detected, can later develop metastatic disease at any time – even years later.
My BC sisters living with MBC go on with their lives. They struggle, they laugh, they love. They raise children, go to work, get married or divorced. They live normal lives – except they live with a breast cancer that has spread and has no cure. They face their fears. They want to live as much or more than anyone. They live with the idea of “treatable, not beatable.”
So today, I think of the many friends I have who are currently living with metastatic disease. And I remember the many friends who I have lost.
for more information on Metastatic Breast Cancer, please visit the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network.