It's a good question Mel. Culturally, many Australians have a reluctance to talk about death. I think that, coupled with our often misplaced faith in modern medicine, contributes to a preference to believe something can be done. That 'they' should be able to fix what ever is wrong. Acknowledging the failings in our systems is something many people do not want to do. The cynic in me who has been involved in a variety of fundraising and marketing exercises also sees why the dark side is often underplayed.
I work for Cancer Australia assessing research grant applications. The amount of money that is spent on trying to sort this mess out is astonishing. The thing that isn't discussed is the fact that the overwhelming majority of ideas fail. Completely. In theory, the failures add pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, clues on what paths through the maze go nowhere. Anything that looks promising requires years of work and millions of dollars to--possibly--come to fruition. If the general public knew how much of the funds raised through cakes stalls, the sale of flowers and thousands of km each year spent plodding around regional ovals went absolutely nowhere, there might not be so much enthusiasm for the collective effort to find the money. Good news sells.
You are right, the focus on MBC, and other terminal cancers, is very narrow. Don't get me started on the issues with lung cancer and other forms of the disease where pink muffins are just not appropriate marketing tools.
It takes guts and determined advocacy to change societies views. Hopefully you can make some sort of positive changes using your own experience. You can always get on here and have a good yell. Sorry if you felt like I was trying to divert your discussion--like many here there is little I can say except for make suggestions from my own experience which may help. Mxx
Patti J said:Hi @Mellyb. I also have metastatic breast cancer. It is in my bones and liver. My oncologist told me that my cancer was "really bad".What you have written about your mum is the most truthful thing that I have read since joining this forum.I had taken myself off the forum for a while because I was not comfortable.Thanks for being so honest.In my experience, so many people have no idea what metastatic breast cancer is. I am constantly asked if I have finished my treatment.As for the funding! Every thing seems to be about early diagnosis and prevention.There is no cut off point to say that you are a "survivor". My cancer returned after 15 years. I am very fit, thin, breastfed, eat healthy food and exercise. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent a recurrence.
(source: BCNA Age group (years)
Number of Australian women diagnosed
% of all women diagnosed *
Younger than 20
Less than 1
21 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49