Among my goals for the Bald Ballerina is to promote hope and positive thinking. That said, this post is about finding a cure for the dark side of breast cancer: metastatic breast cancer, sometimes called stage 4 or advanced cancer. It is cancer that has spread from its original location to another body part like the lungs, liver, bones, or brain. My goal for Bald Ballerina’s second year is to raise awareness and funding for metastatic breast cancer research so that a cure will be found. Metastasis is what makes breast cancer a deadly disease. It is the leading cause of death in young women with breast cancer. Every day 108 American women die from metastatic breast cancer. This is about 40,000 women each year and this number has remained steady for the last 15 years. If a cure is not found soon, one day it will be me.
Billions of dollars are raised for breast cancer, but only 2% goes toward research to find a cure for metastatic breast cancer. Most of the money raised is spent on awareness, early detection, and treatments for early stages of breast cancer. Early detection does not guarantee a cure; nor does aggressive treatment of early stage breast cancer guarantee that cancer is gone for good.
Until a cure is found, no breast cancer patient can ever be certain that they are cured. This is true even after both breasts have been removed and no cancer is detected following surgery. Current technology cannot detect whether very tiny breast cancer stem cells have traveled to a new body part. These cancer cells sometimes begin growing after surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have been completed.
In fact, this is what will happen to about 30% of the women who were successfully treated for early stages of breast cancer. Months, years, or even decades later, they will develop stage 4 breast cancer and die. It is a possibility that no one wants to talk about. It is the elephant in every breast cancer patient’s room.
Please help raise awareness of our desperate need for a cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer by joining me in the Turning Challenge. Let’s send a message to breast cancer fundraising operations to turn around and look at us Stage 4 patients; we deserve more than 2%.
The Turning Challenge can be fun for everyone: both dancers and non-dancers. All that you have to do is post a video of spinning or rotating in some fashion. It can be as simple as the Hokie Pokie or as difficult as 32 fouettes. You can hold a spinning object like a pinwheel or film your pet dog chasing his tail. There are no rules!
Inspire, entertain, amuse – or just make us smile! Be creative!
Please use #TheTurningChallenge and nominate three or more friends. If you prefer not to complete the challenge, please make a donation to METAvivor where 100% of your donation will go to metastatic breast cancer research. https://secure.metavivor.org/page/contribute/default
Help make this a Turning Point for metastatic breast cancer research.