Breast Cancer is Just One Cancer

October is here and so is breast cancer awareness month.  Even the NFL has painted itself pink in tribute for breast cancer awareness.  I guess it is a good thing to have so much focus on this, however as a pediatric cancer advocate it makes me sad the same level of recognition or concern is not there for our children.  The statistics for pediatric cancer may not mean a lot to you, unless it is your child in that number.  You might not even care, but now 1 out of every 300 young adults is a cancer survivor.  The cancer road is a difficult one as these children are faced with the long-term effects of chemotherapy and radiation and require more stringent follow-up and care as they grow older.  My daughter Alicia is a cancer survivor, almost 10 years out from diagnosis.  She gets so mad during this month as everything from groceries to football is bathed in pink to help breast cancer.   She feels as though her battle and the battle of countless other children does not get the national recognition, support and attention it so deserves.  She is right.  So while we want to help those battling breast cancer, it would be nice for everyone to take pause and just remember that today and each and everyday 46 children in this country alone are told ‘they have cancer.’  It would matter if it was your child!

One comment

  1. Your daughter is right – “pink” focuses on a cancer that has an excellent prognosis rate, while there are so many other cancers that do not have such a positive outlook. It would matter if it were my child – and it matters to me because my husband has Stage IV Lung Cancer. He was diagnosed in Oct. 2009 and of course there was pink for breast cancer everywhere. It added to our pain. And now it mostly makes us angry.

    Your daughter’s cancer-free life is a celebration. Enjoy every minute of it.

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