Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. And once again, I’ve learned a new and disturbing statistic.
While we know that 1 in 8 women are expected to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime, we do not know how many will be diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC).
Why or how you ask?
Because there is no data recorded for the women who progress from stage 1, 2, or 3, to stage 4. These women continue to be counted as early stage breast cancer.
The only stats on Metastatic Breast Cancer are for those who are diagnosed as stage 4 from the very beginning (aka de novo). And it is estimated that approximately 1 in 20 women are diagnosed de novo.
I'm a bit of a grey area here. My initial diagnosis was stage 2. However, and before my plan of attack was laid out and set in stone, I was sent for a months worth of tests and scans (everything under the sun, pretty much). And at the end of that, they found lesions (aka metastasis) on my liver - which bumped me up from stage 2 to 4.
So there wasn't progression or a reoccurrence in my case. I simply required further testing before they were able to properly stage my diagnosis. So I don't even know for sure if I'm a part of the early stage data, or the MBC data. One thing's for sure, I will definitely be inquiring on this with my oncologist.
Regardless though, this all blows my mind!
I mean in what universe, in today's day and age, does that make any sense at all?
I should know, as should every other person living with MBC, that the data from our cases are being recorded properly. That everything we are going through is being accounted for, so that somewhere down the line, our stats can make a difference!
It’s sickening and it’s disheartening that this isn't the case.
And the only way to change this is to shout really fuckin loud, and make sure our voices are heard!
And we need allies to make this happen.
SO, if you haven’t already, I’m asking you (AGAIN) to become an MBC Ally. To fight, advocate and support MBC, and to demand more accurate and inclusive data about this terminal and incurable disease.
Here (below) is a direct link to RETHINK Breast Cancer's MBC Ally pledge page.
We need 10,000 names, and we’re about halfway there.
Also, I'm taking part in a fundraiser with Turning The Page on Cancer, and 100% of all funds raised will go directly to RETHINK'S Metastatic Breast Cancer fund.
I sent a post out over the weekend with more details on this, as well as some more MBC statistics. You can read that blog here, and if you can donate, every dollar counts!
Please feel free to share this as well.The more reach we can give this, the better!