CURE’s Audience Discusses Cancer Awareness Months

Opinion
Article

We asked our audience of patients, survivors and caregivers to those with cancer about their feelings on cancer awareness months. Here's what they had to say.

Most cancers and diseases have awareness months or weeks tied to them, and while they can be good to fundraise or educate people about the disease, not all diseases get the same recognition, according to members of our audience.

These observances provide an opportunity for people to share their thoughts, experiences and hopes of bringing awareness to all different cancer types.

"How do you feel about cancer awareness months?" written in the middle of a circle of ribbons

In a recent #CUREConnect post on social media, we asked our audience how they felt about cancer awareness months. Here’s what they had to say:

Education about a type of cancer every week…rare cancers get little to no exposure. VIPoma neuroendocrine, for example.” — Daphne S.

According to Cancer Research UK, one person in every 10 million are diagnosed with VIPoma every year. Since many individuals don’t typically get diagnosed with this rare cancer, it is less talked about compared to cancers that are much more common.

Similarly, another audience member stated, “There needs to be more awareness for all types of cancer. A month takes away from how significant this disease is. Cancer is a mystery and maybe.” — Instagram user, IGotThis610

One audience member, Fran S., discussed how all cancers deserve a month, alongside the unity that needs to form for every type of cancer.

“As a (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) survivor, I welcome a month for ALL cancers. It seems that breast cancer gets all the attention and money for research. We need to unite all cancers, make people aware of all of them How many people are aware that September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month?”

Breast cancer affects almost 300,000 individuals each year, according to the American Cancer Society. As this cancer is one of the most diagnosed, some believe it receives more recognition than those that aren’t as common.

Another audience member, Instagram member, liarayofsunshine, agreed.

“I think some cancers definitely need more awareness, and list of symptoms. Brain, ovarian, blood cancers, those are hard to find with testing, knowing signs could help someone get (diagnosed) sooner. As a (metastatic breast cancer) gal, I just try to educate my circle about breast cancer and (metastatic breast cancer).”

Marissa Holzer, a CURE® blogger and survivor, discussed how cancer awareness months can be triggering and uncomfortable for some patients, reminding them that they live with their diagnosis every day.

“’Pinktober’ is a month full of triggers and constant pink reminders that I’m living with incurable metastatic breast cancer. I would much prefer a metastatic breast cancer research month over early-stage awareness and cutesy slogans. Over 40,000 a year are dying from this disease and less than 5% of funds raised are directed to metastatic breast cancer research. Awareness is not the answer.”

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

Related Videos
Image of Dana Frost.
Beth Blakey speaking in an interview with CURE
Cancer survivor, Frank J. Peter, playing an original song on the piano