Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Published October 13, 2011 by Deb Ragosta

In 2009, the United States Senate and House of Representatives declared October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  This feat was accomplished by a small group of women who persevered to bring the recognition beyond the occasional local and state proclamations to the federal level.  It is fitting that this recognition comes in the middle of the month – the month that is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  To many of us in the metastatic breast cancer community, October has become “Pinktober.”  There is no getting away from it, and while we are grateful for the awareness the BCAM events have created over the years, I think it is safe to say it’s time to move to the next level.  We are aware.  Now we need to advocate for the cure. 

My stage 4 diagnosis came in October, 2009.  Since that time, I have made myself available for interviews and have advocated for my metsisters and brothers to do what I can to educate others about the reality of metastatic breast cancer.  Unfortunately, one of the unintended results of what October has become is that there are many people who actually think there is a cure for breast cancer.  On more than one occasion over the past 2 years, I’ve heard things like, “my friend was diagnosed 8 years ago, was on a pill for 5 years and now she’s cured.”  Recently, NBC newscaster Andrea Mitchell announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She said “this disease can be completely cured if you find it at the right time.”  Unfortunately, people who have the power to have their voices heard don’t realize how much damage they do to our cause when they come out with comments that are simply not true. 

 For myself, and others with metastatic breast cancer, October is the cruelest month of the year because we know that despite everyone’s good intentions, less than 5% of monies raised goes to metastatic breast cancer research and that the number of deaths in the US from breast cancer has not changed significantly since we all became aware and Pinktober became a non-stop commercial for corporations embracing the pink ribbon as their cause du jour.

 What do you think?  Let’s start the conversation!

With hope for the cure,


7 comments on “Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

  • Debbie – You amaze me each time I here you speak! You are one of the strongest people I know. This blog is such a great idea. Your words need to get out and be reached by so many people who are involved in the treatment and research of this ugly beast. I admire you for doing what you do!

    Love and kisses to you.



  • Deb

    Congratulations on your new life in blogging. You are on your way to becoming an inspirational internet sensation!

    As Mother Jones once said: “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. ”
    Amen to that. Keep the faith!

    Love, Sunday and Jim


  • My husband and I were just saying last night . . . “enough of the PINK, It’s everywhere even on my eggs! . . . let’s get on with the research and save lives!” Thank you for your powerful words.


  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: