The following is not opinion these are fact that I state sources for. So, in advance of reading this article I ask that if you get angry, don't direct it at me. While I state that I am saddened by this information, I didn't come up with it out of the top of my head. You can google it yourself and come up with the same information that I have found or just visit the source that I site.
Just the facts on breast cancer's pink initiative. Don't get me wrong, I think breast cancer awareness is a wonderful thing. It has been a terrific boon for the drug companies. Does that comment seem strange to you? Let me clue you in to some irrefutable facts.
Fact one: there isn't any place on this planet that a person wouldn't recognize a pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer. ( info from Susan G. Koman wikipedia page that states: Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is active in over 50 countries with its largest affiliates in Italy and Germany.)
Fact two: Out of all the money raised in the walk for the cure, race for the cure and other such events, as quoted in a New York times article January 7, 2011, "only 1% of the $5 billion annual cancer fund was devoted to any stage IV (metastatic) cancer, despite the fact that stage IV causes 90% of cancer deaths."
Before adding more facts I just want to go on record as saying that I think this is really sad. Let me educate you. There is a big difference between having localized breast cancer, having it removed and then receiving either chemo alone or with radiation, and a woman or man having metastatic breast cancer. The woman or man with localized cancer will be pronounce cured at the end of their treatment. The patient with metastatic breast cancer is told as I was that you will be on one form or another of chemo for the rest of you life, and most likely this will be what you die from.
Fact three: Just in the USA 155,000 patients a yr are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. 90% of the people who die from breast cancer are metastatic patients. Again only 1% is used to research this killer disease. ( info from American cancer society)
Fact four: All the money raised for research does not go to research. All those little goodies you get for "free" when you participate in an event that is to raise money for research are actually paid for out of what the event raises. Not to mention the overhead that comes right off the top before any of the money is actually given to researchers. By overhead I mean media (print ads, commercials and awareness information, and literature, magazine ads) Not all of the people who work a fund raising event are volunteers. Some of them are paid staff and are paid out of the funds raised. Where else do you think the money comes from? My source for this information is the Mets matters blog, The cancer chronicles, I hate cancer, and breast cancer news.
Fact five: 45,000 women with mets breast die from it yearly. The majority of patients with localized cancer (just in the breast) have treatment and considered cured at the 5 year mark with no reappearance. S.H.E.circle.org states that survival rate at the 5 year mark of women with localized breast cancer is 97%. 178,480 are diagnosed each year with localized breast cancer.Try as I might I could find no figures on the rate of death in patients with just localized breast cancer. By my math that means that 5354.4 women with localized breast cancer die yearly in America. I did find an obscure article from 1999 that states women who die of localized breast cancer usually die as a result of secondary infection post surgery or die from surgical complications. ( info comes from the American breast cancer society, wikipedia, answers.com)
You may be reading this and think "Gosh she sounds angry" I am not angry at all. I have what I have and I deal with it daily. It is just a part of life now. Most people don't know what will probably take their life. Unless I get hit by a bus, this is probably it. If I am angry about anything it is that we are lumped in the pink ribbon contingent. I don't see myself that way knowing how little is spent to find a cure for me. I am definitely not a part of the pink army. But while I did have localized breast cancer and didn't know all the facts, I was blissfully unaware and drowning in a haze of pink.
Let me leave you with this. I am blessed beyond measure with supportive family and friends. I am blessed to have a situation like this show me who my real friends are and the ones who are just there during the good times. I am blessed to live in a free country. I am blessed to have a relationship with Jesus Christ my savior. I thank God for my life, and I thank God for YOU!