METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. and Eisai Inc. announced today the launch of “The Elephant in the Pink Room,” a campaign designed to place a spotlight on metastatic breast cancer (MBC), a form of the disease that causes nearly 40,000 deaths per year and is often ignored, particularly during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Approximately 30 percent of patients with breast cancer will develop MBC – cancer that has spread beyond the breast – and 97-99 percent of those patients will eventually die of the disease. However, an analysis of cancer organizations from the Western world suggests that only about five percent of total cancer research funding goes toward metastatic disease of any cancer type. “The Elephant in the Pink Room” campaign is designed to give a voice to this often overlooked community.
To help reduce the disparity, Eisai has pledged a multi-year donation to METAvivor to help fund critical research for patients with MBC. In addition, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Eisai will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to METAvivor for every visit to, and action taken on, www.MBCaware.org. Actions include: ‘liking’ METAvivor’s Facebook page, joining METAvivor’s email list, following the campaign on Twitter and using the #MBCaware hashtag in October.
“The now ubiquitous pink ribbon—and the color pink altogether—has long stood as a cherished symbol of the breast cancer community. But the spirit of ‘pink’ often overlooks the critical needs of patients with MBC. MBC is almost always fatal, and is the worst nightmare of every patient with breast cancer. Thus along the lines of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, MBC has become the elephant in the pink room,” says Dian “CJ” M. Corneliussen-James, Co-Founder and President of METAvivor. “This October we are asking for nationwide recognition of our community: its existence, difficulties, and tremendous need for support and research. Thanks to partners like Eisai, we can now move toward our vision of raising the level of research and support for MBC to 30 percent in order to help the 30 percent of patients with breast cancer who have metastasized—and will continue to metastasize.”
Unfortunately, metastasis can happen to anyone at any stage of the disease making additional research and patient support services critical for this community.
“We’ve consistently heard from patients with MBC that they feel left out of the pink ribbon conversation in October because conversations and resources are focused on prevention and early detection,” said Brian Eckley, Director of Corporate Advocacy at Eisai. “Our partnership with METAvivor is in addition to a larger, multi-year effort to help raise the volume on the need for research that will benefit this overlooked community, and is just one example of our dedication to helping affect change for these patients.”