Metastatic Breast Cancer October 13, 2020
Yes, that poorly understood, rarely discussed, and yet fatal stage of breast cancer is what everything to do with breast cancer is actually about.
Today, Tuesday October 13, 2020 is National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. We felt it very appropriate to open our blog here at MyDensityMatters.org on this day by remembering, and being clear about, why your density matters (view our fact sheet) SO much.
Metastatic Breast Cancer (also called Stage 4), bluntly put, is what kills us. Metastatic means that the cancer in your breast has spread from the breast and has travelled (metastasized) to somewhere else in the body, to a vital organ that we cannot live without. Having the cancer attack those vital organs (brain, liver, bones, lungs, etc) is what actually kills us, NOT having the cancer in the breast. (Yuck – this is the part that no one wants to talk about. It’s so uncomfortable.)
No one has ever died from Stages 1, 2, or 3 breast cancer, because our breasts are not a vital organ. We can live quite well without them!
But those initial breast cancer stages can lead to stage 4, and that is why SO much is done to prevent that from happening, and these very things are what we hear about the most. Think ‘get your mammogram’, ‘early detection is the key to survival’, etc.
Screenings, surgeries, harsh chemotherapies, and radiation are all attempts to prevent breast cancer from advancing to stage IV, to that point where we cannot survive it.
For all of those promises made over the last 30 years, there is still no cure for Stage 4. Therefore, our only real line of defense is to catch it early to minimize the chances of spread to other parts of the body.
This is why the critical points about breast density are so important:
- About half of all women have dense breast tissue
- Mammography (including 3D) will find less than ½ of all cancers present in women with dense breasts
- Therefore mammography alone does a poor job of finding our breast cancers early in those of us with dense tissue, leaving us at risk for the cancer to spread (metastasize)
- To add insult to injury, the higher your density, the higher your risk of getting breast cancer
This is why your density matters so much, and why we created MyDensityMatters.org – because ultimately:
having to do with Breast Cancer
is really about
Metastatic Breast Cancer
To learn more about metastatic breast cancer, click here: http://mbcn.org/october-13-national-metastatic-breast-cancer-awareness-day/
Thank you for reading our very first blog entry. There is so much more to come. Please feel free to comment on our blog below, and join us on social media at:
Leslie Ferris Yerger