Throughout October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you have been hearing about research, great advances, encouraging statistics and hope. This is my twelfth year as spokesperson for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and I have been able to see just how productive all the efforts put into early detection and prevention have been. Currently, 87% of women with breast cancer are still alive 5 years after their diagnosis. Well done, and let’s keep going!
THE HIDDEN FACE OF BREAST CANCER
However, there is an aspect of breast cancer that we talk about not at all or very little, so much so that 50% of Canadians have never heard of it or are misinformed. That is why I am talking to you today about metastatic cancer and the It’s About mBC Time campaign (add link to www.mbctime.ca) which aims to make people more aware of this type of cancer so that women who have it can receive the support and treatment they need. The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Rethink Breast Cancer and a leading research-based pharmaceutical company in Canada are joining their voices for this campaign, which explores the general public’s knowledge, behaviours and opinions surrounding metastatic breast cancer.
WHAT IS METASTASTIC BREAST CANCER?
Metastatic breast cancer, also called Stage 4 breast cancer, is the most advanced stage of the disease. At this stage, the cancer is no longer only in the breast; it has spread to other organs. And so far, it is incurable. People with mBC have an estimated 5 year relative survival rate of only 22%. So once it is diagnosed, the clock starts ticking. And inevitably, time becomes invaluable. This is the message that the It’s About mBC Time campaign wants to convey through this video that profiles a very impressive young woman whose progress I have been watching for several years.
NALIE AND HER BATTLES
I met the Nalie, the woman in the video, a few years ago, when we were both taking part in the CIBC Run for the Cure. At the time, she was fighting Stage 2 breast cancer, which she defeated. Unfortunately for her, as she says in the video, the cancer came back and this time, it was metastatic. Her time is precious and she has decided to use it to devote herself to the cause. She wants to make this hidden face of cancer better known, so that women in the same situation as her will feel less alone and receive better support and so that more funding will be allocated to research on metastatic cancer. Since it is so little known, only 7% of governmental and non-profit research funding is allocated to it. Nalie is fighting on several fronts and It’s About mBC Time is one of them. Nalie also has a website (http://www.nalie.ca/) where she talks about her experience with cancer. She is putting all her creativity into developing videos, texts and even performances to demystify the disease.
Please take a few minutes of your precious time to share the campaign video. Use hashtag #mbctime to show your support for Nalie and all women with metastatic breast cancer.
Then, re-think your perception of time and live every moment to the fullest.
This post is presented in collaboration with the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, Rethink Breast Cancer and a leading research-based pharmaceutical company in Canada.