This month marks the two-year anniversary of my first breast cancer diagnosis and just one year since the cancer spread beyond my breasts and to my bones. With four children — ages 3, 5, 7 and 11 — I can’t begin to describe how it felt to be told that my cancer is incurable.
Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Someone with this cancer dies every 13 minutes in the U.S.
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, I ask that you not forget about the 155,000 men and women in America living with metastatic breast cancer and fighting for their lives each day. While 20 percent to 30 percent of people initially diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer, the funding to support research specific to this cancer is greatly disproportionate to the number affected. Only 7 percent of the $15 billion of funding for breast cancer research is specifically allocated to finding a cure for metastatic breast cancer.
For me, there is no time to debate funding and policy issues within our country’s health care system. My life with cancer depends on access to regular treatments, and it depends on advances in research for new treatments and someday, a cure. I’d like more time with my kids, my family and my friends — which means we cannot just recognize this disease in October.
Please sign the It’s About Time campaign’s petition, which reminds our state leaders to protect our access to treatment through affordable insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs. If it gives even just one person with metastatic breast cancer more time to be with the ones that they love, it’s worth it.
Article Source: ST.Louis Post-Dispatch (Stltoday)