Since the beginning of this month, I had actually written two separate draft blogs in an effort to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wasn’t pleased with either. Though they were personally revealing, neither really screamed at me that this was something you, the reader, would walk away saying, “Wow! What great information!”
Therefore, they were both discarded.
For the past year, I have been supporting a wonderful group called Breast Cancer Answers with interviews and videos about caregiving. You can find each of them in the Media page of this website.
I thought I had a layman’s knowledge about breast cancer. I realized from reading the information below, produced by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, that I was actually quite wrong. Apparently, I still have much to learn.
Please see below. I hope it enlightens you as much as it did me. Not only did I say to myself, “Wow! What great information,” I also realized why it is so important that a cure is found for this deadly form of cancer.
Until a cure is found, I will be proud to wear “pink” and support the cause in every way I can.
Below is just the beginning of my learning curve…thus, for me, Breast Cancer Awareness Month accomplished its goal. I am now more aware of breast cancer than I was before.
13 Facts Everyone Should Know about Metastatic Breast Cancer
1. No one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast. Metastasis occurs when cancerous cells travel to a vital organ and that is what threatens life.
2. Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body, typically the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
3. An estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
4. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer is lifelong and focuses on control of the disease and quality of life.
5. About 6% to 10% of people are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis.
6. Early detection does not guarantee a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur 5, 10 or 15 years after a person’s original diagnosis and successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms.
7. 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.
8. Young people, as well as men, can be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
9. Like early stage breast cancer, there are different types of metastatic breast cancer.
10. Treatment choices are guided by breast cancer type, location and extent of metastasis in the body, previous treatments and other factors.
11. Metastatic breast cancer is not an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some will live long and productive lives.
12. There are no definitive prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Every patient and their disease is unique.
13. To learn more about National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13 and to access resources specifically for people living with metastatic breast cancer and their caregivers, visit www.mbcn.org.
My thanks to Dr. Deanna J. Attai, an amazing breast cancer surgeon and a recent guest blogger for robcares, for posting this on her Facebook page. If you haven’t read her guest blog, I strongly suggest you do so. It is quite revealing.