You want awareness? How about awareness that Komen probably gave their outgoing CEO more in salary and benefits than they put into research for a cure for Stage IV breast cancer (giving her a huge raise, despite their losses and horrible year in PR). How about awareness that stage IV breast cancer is terminal. Meaning, it is treatable, but not curable. No amount of pink is going to save these women’s lives. The average life expectancy is about two and a half years from diagnosis. Let that sink in for a moment. Be aware of that.
We don’t hear much about that because for all the hype about survivorship, people (because men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too) diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer tend to get swept under the rug in the “feel good” early detection/silver bullet myth. They are a little too “debbie downer” for their "rah rah! let’s beat this!" message. Which sucks. It doesn’t matter how early they “feel their boobies” or when they got their mammogram. If the cancer metastasizes, which is especially likely if it is a more aggressive triple negative, BRCA 1 or 2 form of breast cancer, early detection and awareness without aggressive research into treatments will get them a whole lot of nowhere. Meanwhile people with stage IV cancer are a wealth of medical and personal knowledge (unfortunately, the awareness campaigns keep turning their backs on them).
The truth is, October can be a cruel month for some people undergoing advanced breast cancer treatment. And I know most people mean well. But it is time to reconsider the pink, the obsession with boobies, and the “awareness.”