How do we get Metastatic Breast Cancer to be the focus?

Somehow I found my way to looking at some videos about the 2020 Breast Cancer Deadline campaign (not sure I am so keen on the dead part of it myself), and I noticed that there is a video supporting it from Bill Clinton, whose mother died of breast cancer.

I mentioned, a bit tongue in cheek, that maybe he would be a good person to drive a campaign to find a cure. After all he is well known, has some pretty good connections and wouldn’t have too much trouble getting a foot in the door of any office he might like to choose (or the Secret Service could do it for him). Of course Mr Clinton has been somewhat controversial over the years, for various reasons, but he would be listened to. Part of our problem is that people just don’t listen. The is Pink-fatigue setting in rapidly, and for all the zillions not much has been achieved; unless you sell mammogram machines.


Everyone assumes that real progress has been made with the numbers dying of breast cancer … well tell that to the 450,000 or so families who lose a member each year. There are times when I hear things about the H1N1 swine flu and all the scramble for vaccines and prevention for a ‘Pandemic’ which COULD have killed 579,000 people in 4 years though many of those deaths have not been confirmed by a laboratory. No, I am not making light of any of those deaths but in the same time about 1,900,000 will have died of breast cancer, and this has been going on for decades and is getting worse. Swine Flu sent world governments into hyper drive to find ways of dealing with it and spent millions stock piling vaccines which were never used. Swine Flu got action … Metastatic Breast Cancer gets pink ribbons.

Does anyone else see the problem … one disease gets real action, the other gets pink ribbons. How did AIDS manage to get so much REAL research and progress in finding treatments and discovering its mechanisms?

Deaths amongst people living with HIV In 2011 less than 1% of people with HIV died. This is comparable to mortality for the UK general population as a whole; however, the average age of death of people living with HIV is lower. – See more at:

Think of the high profile supporters of AIDS research Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John; think of the film Philadelphia Story. What is there that is similar for breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter? Who are those famous for breast cancer? It would seem only those, who as a footnote, died of the disease, or for five minutes those who slink along a red carpet wearing pink. If I was an outsider to breast cancer I couldn’t name a single advocate, except maybe Angelina Jolie after the hub-bub about her double mastectomy. But will she be in this for the long-haul? What it comes down to is that if those of us with the disease don’t do something who else will? Where is the passion and anger with which those trying to de-stigmatise AIDS had? Is it because AIDS and H1N1 are ‘new’ and cancer has been with us forever? Is cancer yesterday’s disease? The activists have moved on …

I wonder if Ms Jolie is available for a bit of awareness raising?


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Health Communications and Health Advocacy

With deep understanding, health communicators can engage and inspire change, whether in individuals or in society as a whole.


...the proactive voice of the metastatic breast cancer community...

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