Are we all aware of breast cancer yet?

This is not going to be a very politically correct post. I am fucking sick of being told to be aware of my breasts. You know what? My breasts are fine. You know what’s not fine? The entire rest of my body. I have fibromyalgia.

An image of a woman with words around her describing the symptoms of fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia symptoms

Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is characterised by chronic widespread pain and allodynia (a heightened and painful response to pressure).[1] Its exact cause is unknown but is believed to involve psychological, genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors.[2][3][4] Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue,sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients[5] also report difficulty with swallowing,[6]bowel and bladder abnormalities,[7]numbness and tingling,[8] and cognitive dysfunction.[9]

Like breast cancer, fibromyalgia is a disease that predominantly affects women, at a female:male ratio of about 9:1. The prevalence of fibromyalgia is 2-4%. And yet, there are no big corporate sponsorships for fibromyalgia research. No celebrities wearing our ribbons. No big events to improve awareness.

Worse than that, there is no cure and no treatment beyond trying to treat the symptoms. People who develop fibromyalgia rarely get better on their own. The chances are high that they will experience the symptoms above for the rest of their lives. Many fibromyalgia patients end up having to leave their careers and are even unable to participate fully in the lives of their family and friends. It can strike you down in the prime of your life, and you’re never able to recover.

“But Silverdrop,” I hear you say. “Breast cancer is far more common than fibromyalgia. Why shouldn’t we spend more resources on trying to cure breast cancer?”

The common figure given for lifetime breast cancer risk in women is 1 in 8… if they live to age 95. (This overlooks that most women will not live to age 95 and will generally succumb to something that is not breast cancer. Most often, that is heart disease.)

Even so, it is true that breast cancer is more prevalent than fibromyalgia. If we look at the 2-4% figure above and split it down the middle, then let’s say 3%, compared to 12.5% for breast cancer. I would be very happy if fibromyalgia received one quarter of the research money that breast cancer receives. Does it?

The NIH spent $800,000,000 on breast cancer research in 2012. In that same year, they spent $13,000,000 on fibromyalgia.*

Let that sink in. Fibromyalgia research received 1.6% of the research dollars that breast cancer received. And let’s consider that this is only government funding. This does not include money donated by corporations or raised by activists, which would make the disparity even greater.

I’m not going to deny that it’s important to do regular self-checks of your breasts, but is there anyone in the developed world who is somehow not aware of this?

Guess what? Women are more than a pair of breasts. There are many, many diseases that disproportionately affect women, either in greater incidence or greater severity, and many of these diseases cause severe disability or death.

Alzheimers. Cardiovascular Disease. Celiac disease. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Endometriosis. Fibromyalgia. HIV and other STIs. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Lung Cancer. Lupus. Major Depression. Migraine. Multiple Sclerosis. Sjogrens Syndrome.  Uterine Fibroids.  

This October, how about spreading awareness beyond your breasts?


This entry was posted in #Memes, #SultrySaturday, Archive, Breasts, Feminism, Health on by .

About silverdrop

Silverdrop and SilverHubby are a middle aged married opposite-sex couple living in the UK. Silverdrop is gender-queer and SilverHubby is pansexual. We use this blog to talk about our sex lives (especially our fanaticism about anal and pegging), share erotic photos, and offer sex toy reviews. Our [sex isn’t always great], mostly because of our health problems, but we always write honestly about it. Our kinks include BDSM, gender-play, pegging, roleplay, fantasy, and lots and lots of anal.

4 thoughts on “Are we all aware of breast cancer yet?

  1. Bunny

    We are the same way with my desmoid. Not enough people are affected by it for it to get any government funding so we survivors fund our own research when we raise as much as we can. The only reason we picked up a celebrity at all for the cause was b/c Rosie O’Donnell’s wife ended up getting a desmoid b/c of her pregnancy.

    It really sucks when something you have suffered with isn’t getting any attention and no one is seriously seeking a cure *hugs*

  2. PropertyOfPotter

    This was quite unexpected, but appreciated in the same sense. I know several people that have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and it’s difficult knowing the severe pain they go through. I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with that yourself, but appreciate your voice on the matter.

  3. Beck

    I agree with you and your politically incorrect post! It does seem that there are some diseases that get special attention, yet there are many diseases that affect all of us in our daily lives. I enjoy your take on the prompt!

    My mother in law, husband, and many others I know are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I’m sorry you suffer from this.

  4. Heaven

    Sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia I know that has to suck big time. I know a couple of people who have it and I hate to see them in pain. You are right diseases do effect us in so many ways.

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