BCAM: October 18th

“This METAvivor Research and Support Inc.#METAvivor * ribbon has a very big meaning for us metavivors (a/k/a “metastatic breast cancer patients”). We choose to identify with this instead of the pink one for a variety of reasons.

Text to why straight from metavivor.org:

“The pink ribbon is well-known for representing the fight against breast cancer, but many stage 4 breast cancer patients feel that pink does not encapsulate their experience. Metastatic breast cancer may start in the breast, but its spread to vital organs makes the disease fatal. To highlight the uniqueness of the disease and show its commonality with other stage 4 cancers, METAvivor designed a base ribbon of green and teal to represent metastasis. Green represents the triumph of spring over winter, life over death, and symbolizes renewal, hope, and immortality while teal symbolizes healing and spirituality. The thin pink ribbon overlay signifies that the metastatic cancer originated in the breast. Because all stage 4 cancer patients have common concerns and challenges, we invite other cancer communities to overlay their own cancer’s ribbon on this metastatic ribbon base.”*

copyright @metavivor

The pink ribbon has evolved to mostly represent the early stagers who have a hope of a “normal” life expectancy. Those of us whose lives will end sooner look to the metavivor ribbon because it includes men (with the blue) and also represents metastasized cancer with the green. Representation is important and the pink ribbon doesn’t represent the entire community. With that being said, there are some in the MBC community who do embrace the pink ribbon.

Bottom line?

Ask questions. Ask if the pink ribbon represents the community you are trying to reach before using it automatically. Be open to understanding that not everyone identifies with the same images and concepts. While breast cancer is an equalizer, the community is not entirely homogeneous.

And now you know how important including everyone is and how the pink ribbon culture excludes key members of the MBC community.

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