Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13 is a time to gain and spread knowledge of what sufferers are up against and how society can help. Metastatic means that what began as a case of early-stage breast cancer has metastasized, or spread to other organs (lungs, bones, etc) outside the breasts, and is now considered to be stage four cancer. At this point the only care option is to treat the advanced cancer and its side effects, including anxiety; there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer as of this writing. Treatments may include surgeries and chemotherapy, as well as possible clinical trials of new drugs, which along with other palliative care can help improve quality of life and lengthen life span itself. Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day is part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and presents an opportunity for us to increase awareness and visibility for those who are championing and fighting for scientific advances.
History of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day
In 2009 the House and Senate unanimously passed a resolution to recognize one day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October, as specifically devoted to metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The best part is how the proposal reached the floors of Congress to begin with. A group of nine MBC patients and their families had traveled to Washington DC and picketed and demonstrated, and these brave souls were able to catch the attention (with the help of phone-wielding friends back home) of the right people to initiate a vote.
But this is no time to fall into complacency. The pinpointing of one day merely means that, now that the word is out, the onus is upon the public to take action. As stated by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, “[n]ow it is up to every metastatic breast cancer patient and those who love and support them to find ways to make use of this day…to further our cause to support those living with the disease and demand research to find treatments to extend our lives.”
So learn the facts and stand strong with your fam, on National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.