It’s October, or Pinktober, as we witness the transformation of basically everything, from tortilla chips, to dogs, clothes, athletes uniforms, billboards, feather boas, and all of social media for breast cancer awareness month. It’s time to refresh the message.
We are aware of breast cancer. What many aren’t aware of is that a specific type of breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer (MBC), has no cure. It will kill every single person diagnosed with it. That’s a far cry from all the hopeful pink washing that happens every October. Breast cancer is not pink, cute, fluffy, or fashionable. The only thing that will save those with MBC is research that will drive cures and improve the lives of those living with the disease.
Did you know that in the United States alone, someone dies from breast cancer every 14 minutes? This number has not changed significantly in over 40 years. Making everything pink in October to drive awareness has not reduced this number or improved statistics.
Did you know that about 30% of people who have been treated for early stage breast cancer eventually develop stage IV breast cancer?
Did you know that out of all the funds that are donated and collected, only a very small percentage of money, only about 2-5% goes towards studying metastasis and metastatic disease? This is a major problem in the research funding prioritization and structure.
What will improve the statistics and save people’s lives is funding research to better understand what drives metastatic breast cancer so we can develop better treatments and therapies.
Metastasis and metastatic, stage IV disease is what kills patients with breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is a terminal disease that can impact both men and women.
METAvivor remains the sole US organization dedicated to awarding annual grants for funding stage 4 breast cancer research via its grant program. Unlike other fundraising efforts for breast cancer awareness, 100% of every donation to Metavivor goes to fund metastatic breast cancer research. For more information on Metavivor’s research and grant program, check https://www.metavivor.org/research/
Another option for patients to consider learning more about and potentially participating in is the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project is a nationwide movement to accelerate research for metatstatic breast cancer by welcoming patients living with metastatic breast cancer to contribute their tissue and their medical records to advance research.