Heather Hanlon
Special to The Village News

October is known as the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, if you know someone who has died from breast cancer, they died from metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer is also known as Stage IV breast cancer or advanced breast cancer. It is cancer that has spread beyond the breast, through the lymphatic system and to other organs or bones in the body. It is not yet known exactly why or how breast cancer spreads.

Not much research is done on metastatic breast cancer patients, researchers assume there is about 155,000 women and men living with advanced breast cancer. One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and of those, one in three of them will have their breast cancer spread, even after their initial surgery and treatments. Each year, 40,000 women will die of metastatic breast cancer and that number has remained about the same for the past 20 years.

But, the world is aware of breast cancer so why aren’t more women surviving?

Just because the world is aware and we have pink events, eat pink foods, and buy pink products doesn’t mean all of that money is going to fund research of advanced breast cancer. Millions upon millions of dollars are spent every year on awareness.

Fundraisers cost money, travel to events cost money, making pink awareness products cost money, all of which makes us look pretty in pink. Unfortunately, looking pretty doesn’t matter much to those with stage IV breast cancer.

About two to seven percent of funding from some of the leading breast cancer organization is spent on actually finding a cure. The majority of donations are spent on awareness.

You cannot find a school, event, drink, storefront or person in October that either isn’t sporting pink or doesn’t know about breast cancer. Even our NFL teams wear pink during games and sell pink towels and shirts, in hopes to bring more awareness to the disease.

Awareness is not the key to survival, action is. Please consider donating to a breast cancer organization where 100 percent of your donation goes into breast cancer research. Please check out metavivor.org to make a donation.

METAvivor is dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

This article was originally published at the “Article” source noted above and distributed by The Tutu Project for informational purposes only.

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