Metastatis noun mə-ˈtas-tə-səs1. a : change of position, state, or form b : the spread of a disease-producing agency (as cancer cells) from the initial or primary site of disease to another part of the body; also : the process by which such spreading occurs2. a secondary malignant tumor resulting from metastasis
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s hard to miss – there’s pink everywhere. And while it’s important to support breast cancer research and treatment programs, I think it’s also important to understand the different aspects of the disease. Yes, many breast cancer diagnoses can be successfully treated when detected early. But there are aggressive forms of breast cancer that can and do recur. And they can and do take lives.
Which is why it’s important to recognize today as Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day.
No one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast. The lump itself is not what kills. The metastasis of cancerous cells to a vital organ is what kills.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network was formed by two women with advanced breast cancer who found many support groups and programs focused on “survivorship” didn’t provide the type of support needed by those facing an ongoing fight. To help others in their situation they developed a comprehensive site that provides information on MBC, including 13 facts everyone should know about metastatic breast cancer.
I spent some time today reading blogs by women living with metastatic breast cancer. I am awed and inspired by their moxie and encourage you to check them out:
Today I’m reminded of how insidious this disease is, and how vital it is we invest in research to find ways to keep it from spreading.