October 13 Would Be National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

According to the most recent figures available, roughly 160,000 people are living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S. The number may be higher now, based on progressive availability of new drugs – especially in the past decade – that are slowly extending the average life-expectancy of women with Stage IV disease.

Last October, the U.S. Senate (on 10/13/09) and House (retroactively, on 10/28/09) voted to support the designation of October 13, 2009, as a National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The point was to draw public attention to the distinct needs of metastatic BC patients: women who live every day with this condition but, for the most part, are not heralded in pink.

My hope is that before October 2011, President Obama will make this day official: October 13 should be National Metastatic BC Awareness Day – so that women with advanced disease will know they’re not forgotten and, rather, will catch the public’s eye.

My pick for NMBCA Day’s official color: gray, to signify seriousness and uncertainty; but of course every woman should choose her own style!

Please see a related HuffPo piece; that includes patients’ and others’ viewpoints on this topic.

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