Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Every October people are swept up in a sea of pink and inundated with mammogram reminders as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts. And for good reason: More than 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in women every year, and more than 39,000 women die of breast cancer every year, according to U.S. data from the American Cancer Society. But all of the talk leaves many people with later stages of breast cancer out of the conversation. When the focus is on taking preventative measures, those who have long since been diagnosed with breast cancer need their own outlet from which to gain strength and receive support.
Fortunately, there are options for breast cancer patients who no longer benefit from early detection and prevention campaigns. The pharmaceutical company Novartis is one organization working to fill this void in the cancer awareness sphere with its Count Us, Know Us, Join Us support network. As stated on its site, the initiative recognizes that “this is a community that has different physical and emotional needs from those in earlier stages of breast cancer.” Novartis has partnered with a number of advocacy groups to give those living with breast cancer and their loved ones a voice.
With Count Us, Know Us, Join Us, patients with advanced breast cancer can find information on treatment, support, and how to get involved with a thriving community of people living with advanced breast cancer. And as a symbolic gesture, patients can add their name to the virtual list of members and show that they are indeed being counted.
Breast cancer is a complex experience that affects each patient in a vastly different way. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, there’s no uniform way of connecting with survivors. Count Us, Know Us, Join Us is a reminder of how we each need personal support that is loving and meaningful to us.
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