Last Fall I wrote a couple of posts about the growing disenchantment with ‘Pinkification’ and ‘Pinktober’ referencing the all-out blitz during October to go “Pink” for breast bancer awareness and prevention. In one of the pieces I mentioned by disenchantment with what happened a number of years ago I saw in clinical practice and last year with the rapid expansion of “Breast Cancer Centers” and subsequently felt somewhat remorseful in a subsequent post. I applauded organizations dedicated to increasing awareness and prevention and early detection of breast cancer for their fundraising and efforts on behalf of patients. And continue to do so. However, it has become more prevalent in the past couple of years that there are some unaddressed issues here, including a lack of emphasis among the cancer community for patients with metastatic disease. Even the recently released Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Recommendations do little to specifically address metastatic disease in many of the broad, high-level recommendations by name. Prevention and detection are of course mentioned and this is key for a number of behavior-related cancers. There is mention of improved immunotherapies and combating drug resistance and trying to improve quality of life that should benefit patients with metastatic disease beyond front-line conventional therapies and approaches.
Will this approach be enough? Will more funding by private and public entities be devoted not to Stage I disease and cures but Stage IV disease?
There seems to be increasing sentiment that more needs to be done for metastatic patients, particularly with breast cancer and I suspect we are going to see more stories over the next several weeks about “Pink to Green” and “Why Some Breast Cancer Patients Can’t Stand October” and the like.
It seems to be a difficult public health issue that needs to be addressed.
What do you think?
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