Breast cancer is breast cancer right?

Hello people,

Q: When is breast cancer not breast cancer?

A: When it spreads to other areas of the body.

That's right, Metastatic breast cancer is not currently included in the statistics used by groups like Susan G. Komen to show the cure rate of cancer. It is the cancer industries dirty little secret that the 40,000 men and women who are die from mets breast cancer each year, aren't included in the stats. Why would that be you might ask. Well, it would make their cure rates lower and it wouldn't make people walk/run and donate to the many pink ribbon groups with their hands out for donations.

Below is an informative post I wrote 3 yrs ago as all this information was becoming new to me. I thought that I'd share it with you here on this blog. It was previously posted on my old blog the beautiful life.

Breast cancer is breast cancer, Right?
Hello people,

Spoiler alert, there is no makeup or fashion in this post!

I hope that this post finds all of you healthy and enjoying Summer. I would like to take a moment to remind the women readers to do monthly breast exams. In cast you didn't know this, Men can develop breast cancer as well. So, men if you feel something odd, get it checked.

Now how is one type of breast cancer different from another? Well of course there is staging, but I won't get into that. There is breast cancer that you would typically hear about, then there is inflammatory breast cancer which is mainly the tissue of the breast and ducts, and there is METS BC. Here is some information that I borrowed from Amy Durfee West's blog.

Stage IV breast cancer is considered incurable. That makes it kind of an embarrassment in some of the “survivor” literature. Supposedly you have early detection, and you follow doctor’s orders, and you do your surgery, chemo and maybe radiation, and you lose weight and control stress and you become a cancer-free survivor. What do we do with people who don’t fit that profile? Well, there isn't much research funding for Mets breast cancer.

METAvivor’s 5 MBC Misperceptions
Myth: Research funding is well balanced for all stages of cancer.
Reality: 90% of cancer deaths result from Stage IV cancer, but only 2% of research funds are devoted to stage IV.
Myth: Metastatic breast cancer is rare.
Reality: 30% of breast cancer patients progress to Stage IV. Many more initially present with metastatic breast cancer.
Myth: Healthy lifestyles, timely screening and early detection prevent metastasis.
Reality: Metastasis happens despite vigilance and precautions. Even Stage I patients can and do metastasize.
Myth: Metastatic breast cancer is becoming a chronic disease. Fewer die every year.
Reality: New treatments extend life for some, but survival remains elusive. Over 40,000 women and men have been dying annually since 1987.
Myth: Stage IV breast cancer patients are well supported by many groups.
Reality: Far too many patients must face their challenges with little to no support. Most programs focus on wellness and recovery, avoiding any reference to Stage IV.

Okay, so that is end of the post that I've linked you to. On this page so aptly named The beautiful life, I want to impart on you that despite the negative things that are in the information, I still feel joy. Each morning I wake, It is another gift. I used to wake up thinking that it was the same old same old. Now I wake up thinking of the day as a blessing. It also makes me not plan things long term. It is about living in the moment or the day. That really does make every second such a beautiful moment in life. In so many ways it also has made the people closest to me more beautiful too. They say you never know who your real friends are until you go through a crisis. That is completely true. My true friends and family are beyond coming through for me. They are solid as a rock.

Let me remind you again to check yourselves, and get yearly mammograms.

Thank you for stopping by this blog. If any of this information has been helpful to you or if you have any questions please let me know in the comments.


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