#MetsMonday

Today is #MetsMonday. But women with mets struggle with cancer every day.

In case you didn’t know, Metastatic Breast Cancer is when the cancer has been spread beyond the breasts — typically into the bone, liver, lungs or brain. An estimated 155,000 Americans are living with mets, the treatment of which will last for the rest of their lives. About 40,000 deaths each year are attributed to mets.

Pink Vomit

Peter’s had a little too much pink washing for his liking. Source: Google Images

 

So why do so few know about it? I think a handful of cancer organizations and the media focus too much on the pink, instead of stating the facts. I think my first blog post about Jennifer Campisano sums it up — the “TODAY Show” wouldn’t feature her during Breast Cancer Awareness Month because she wasn’t bald. I truly believe in the battle of education vs. showmanship, education takes home the gold.

Because of my education beliefs, here are some cold hard facts about mets.

-Metastasis in the bone may cause severe pain, swelling, and/or bones that are more easily fractured or broken.

-Metastasis to the brain may cause persistent headache or head pressure; vision problems, seizures, vomiting or nausea, and/or behavioral/personality changes.

-Metastasis to the liver may cause jaundice, itchy skin or rash, abnormally high enzyme in the liver, and/or abdominal pain, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting.

-Metastasis to the lungs may cause chronic cough, abnormal chest X-rays, chest pain and/or fatigue, weight loss or poor appetite.

20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.

-Median survival after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis is three years.

-Compared to white women, African-American women are diagnosed at a higher rate under age 40 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age

-Virtually all cancers, including cancers of the blood and the lymphatic system (leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma), can form metastatic tumors.

-The American Cancer Society states that the five-year survival rate after diagnosis for stage 4 breast cancer patients is 22 percent. This percentage is considerably lower at earlier stages. At stage 3, the five-year relative survival rate is 72 percent. At stage 2, it’s over 90 percent. 

-Metastatic research funding is approximately 5 percent in Europe and even less than that in the U.S. for research regarding all metastatic cancers.

If you’re living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, or know someone who is, this information can be very helpful. Also, here is a list of blogs of women living with mets. Not only is education vital, but so is companionship.

Darn Good Lemonade

Lisa Bonchek Adams

Telling Knots

Breast Cancer? But doctor…I hate pink!

gracefulwomanwarrior

ihatebreastcancer

Dancing with Cancer

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