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Breast cancer awareness campaigns should focus on more than just early detection

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Breast cancer awareness campaigns should focus on more than just early detection.

Since 1985, cancer-related nonprofits have been working with drug companies and other companies. Observe October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

During these weeks, citizens will be bombarded with a public health message with the Pink Ribbon, a symbol of the campaign.

A wave of pink products often appears, too, including clothing – think about it. “Save the Ta-Tas” shirt- The same is true for events like marches and walks. Due to this attack, some people Campaign “Pink Tober.”

These efforts often encourage women to get screened on mammograms, Cancer It will be caught early. Breast cancer patients are known for “defeating” cancer, “winning” battles, surviving, and healing. But these messages overlook the experience of millions of people chests Cancer patients.

I am a professor of sociology and I specialize in studying gender identity and how having a serious illness affects identity. These topics are also familiar to me. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2009. This is also known as Stage 4 on a scale of 0 to 4. This means that breast cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. .. Since then, I have joined face-to-face and online support groups, attended retreats, met countless medical professionals specializing in oncology, and continued my research.

In 2019, I began a national study to examine the experience of women with stage 4 breast cancer. My first article on the role of religion in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer is the Journal of Scientific Research on Religion. I am currently working on research on metastatic breast cancer and identity.

The severity of metastatic breast cancer, the only breast cancer that dies, is rarely discussed. This makes people with this diagnosis ignored, angry and nearly invisible to most breast cancer-focused tissues.

Need to include

Breast cancer is Almost the most common cancer in women. In the United States, it ranks second after skin cancer. 1 in 8 American women Breast cancer is diagnosed at some point in your life. Women of color are less likely to get breast cancer and more likely to die from breast cancer. Breast cancer in men represents less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer.

Almost 30% of people in early-stage Breast cancer has spread to stage 4 and Approximately 44,000 American women and men Every year.

In my research, I applied through an online support group, cancer organizations and academia, and word of mouth to find participants in stage 4 breast cancer. Finally, 310 women responded to a questionnaire. about her experience with metastatic breast cancer, including perceived support, feelings about breast cancer tissue and pink ribbon, and coping strategies.

I chose 33 of those women and participated in a detailed interview to provide additional information on some of the survey responses.

Based on my research, these patients generally do not feel that they conform to the “survivor” mantra associated with photography commonly found in the media of women who have cured breast cancer and are living happy lives. Hmm.

Also, many of these women do not believe that the breast cancer tissue, including the Pink Ribbon Group, does a good job of including metastatic patients in their campaigns. They feel excluded from the public debate on breast cancer and feel that little has been done to present the rather optimistic and gruesome aspects of metastatic disease.

When I asked women to rate their preferences on a scale of 1 to 4 from “not at all” to “fairly,” I found that most metastatic people prefer the term “patient.” .. The term “survivor” was scored with an average of 2.3, instead of “people with cancer” (score of 3.3).

On average, many participants also say there is little awareness that people with metastatic disease may face slightly different treatment outcomes.

Stage 1-3 patients often look forward to the end of treatment. Most metastatic patients receive lifelong treatment.

The early stages of breast cancer often have multiple treatment options, including so-called systemic therapy, such as radiation therapy, surgery (mastectomy or removal of breast masses), and chemotherapy.

For stage 4 breast cancer There are some discussions about Whether mastectomy or mastectomy is an effective option. It is also controversial. As a result, metastatic patients often receive chemotherapy, most recently immunotherapy, and not surgery.

Also, many of the stages 4 Breast cancer patients It turns out that the diagnosis has to be handled in a way that doesn’t apply to early-stage people. Metastatic patients should be treated at the same time, in the hope that the drug will calm cancer and face possible problems at the end of life. They may be worried about leaving their family. Some set milestones, such as watching children and grandchildren graduate from school or get married.

They can also address questions such as how many treatment options are left or maximizing both the quantity and quality of life among the various side effects.

Overthrow a worn history

We asked participants how much they felt they were excluded from breast cancer tissue and why. They strongly demonstrated that they felt a cognitive gap between the breast cancer fabric and awareness campaigns. Many people seem to emphasize early detection and survival, excluding the concerns and needs of metastatic patients.

One respondent spoke about the “early detection mantra”. The other mentioned the “ringing of the bell,” a common celebratory ritual at the end of treatment. I am known for using the phrase “that bell” to express my frustration with the fact that I am always treated and I do not ring the bell.

After completing one of my few radiation treatments, the nurse harmlessly asked me if I wanted to ring the bell. I thought, “There are many other courses besides this one,” and I didn’t know what to say, so I started to cry. Fortunately, they had a little Guardian Angel brooch that she gave to me.

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