Mary Huckle's message for breast cancer awareness month is that Secondary Breast Cancer needs more attention. Where Primary Breast Cancer is given an entire month of awareness, Secondary is only give one day (the 13th). Why is this? What can be done?
"The bottom line is that we absolutely need to open up the discussion. Deep down in the sea of pink there is a darker shade of pink. The elephant in the room. The dirty secret. The unchanged narrative. There is one day however, in the entire month of October, when secondary breast cancer is official. One entire day dedicated to around 35,000 ‘invisibles’ in this country. Just one day, the 13th, highlighting a disease that kills 31 women every day is more than insensitive, it’s appalling.
We all know that primary doesn’t kill, secondary does. Of the 55,000 women diagnosed annually, 30% will go on to receive a secondary diagnosis and a median life expectancy of 2-5 years, depending on the type of breast cancer.
How long do we continue ignoring these facts? I appreciate they’re concerning and they may instil fear in primary patients, but there is no debate in my mind. We have to bring fear to the fore. It’s the only way to ultimately eliminate it and make the world a safer place."