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Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I had breast cancer’

SophieH_BCC
Wednesday, 5 February, 2014 - 11:43

This week, the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action has launched a new advertising campaign featuring people with pancreatic cancer pictured alongside the text ‘I wish I had breast cancer’.  Below is Breast Cancer Care’s response to the adverts.

Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, said:

'Unless you have experienced it yourself, it’s impossible to fully understand the huge challenge faced by women who every day wake up to the brutal reality of breast cancer. Many are forced to make life-changing decisions about treatment, some are coping with its debilitating side-effects, some are being told they can’t have children. Breast cancer still kills 12,000 women each year and more than 30,000 are today living with a terminal diagnosis.

'It is unhelpful to pit one cancer against another. Most of us know someone who has been affected by this dreadful, life threatening disease and know the impact it can have on those affected and their loved ones. We all need to do more to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of many cancers and the importance of early diagnosis.

'Anyone concerned about breast cancer should call our free Helpline 0808 800 6000.'

 

Comments

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I have secondary breast cancer.  I am terminally ill.  I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer from the start.  It is in my bones, my skin and my abdomen.  Do people really wish that they had breast cancer?  I think not...what a dreadful, insensitive thing to do and say...breast cancer, like any cancer is not 'easy'.    

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I wish the Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) charity stopped their 'I wish I had breast cancer' campaign. PCA should stop using breast cancer as the 'cancer whipping girl'!  It is not the fault of every breast cancer (BC) sufferer that people with pancreatic cancer have a short survival rate. A creative person ran a very successful campaign against this dreadful disease BC. That creative person herself had BC.  She did not need to resort to belittling people suffering from other cancers or diseases to accomplish this.  It is not a competition!  One cancer is not better than another.  It is better not to have cancer at all!  What a shoddy stunt PCA pulled. Shame on PCA!  Breast cancer is a terrible disease. It destroys lives!  This advert is offensive to every breast cancer suffer, particularly those who have died and those who are battling it for the second, third or fourth time. EPIC FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I was furious and upset when I saw the Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) charity’s 'I wish I had breast cancer' campaign.  It is so offensive, uninformed, hurtful, tactless, inconsiderate and wicked!  I have noticed that there is always a dubious comparison between breast cancer (BC) and other diseases, as if having BC is a wonderful experience!  People have made enormous efforts to raise awareness of BC which has made their campaigns so successful.  Many of these campaigners have had BC themselves. It appears that many organisations or charities that have not had as much success are bitter and jealous.  Therefore they continue to undermine and belittle BC awareness.  This is not the way to run a campaign.  It is so negative and ignorant! There is no validity in comparing one cancer to another in this way, as every one who has cancer has a different experience.  It is better not to have cancer at all!  There is so much ignorance concerning BC.  It is time that people know the truth about this horrendous affliction. BC is a range of diseases not one disease.  It has an awful tendency of returning.  BC is dreadful, it has destroyed my life.  The treatments are brutal with terrible side effects; I am left with conditions that I was never informed of. My body has been butchered and my ovaries are damaged.  It has shattered any possibility of motherhood and it will eventually kill me.  BC has isolated me from my peer group as I first had it at a young age.  Consequently, I have no friends.  I am surrounded by people who could not possibly understand my situation.  All my friends who had BC are dead. This is my third and final time of having BC; I suffer constant pain, extreme fatigue and breathlessness.  My quality of life is poor.  BC pervades every aspect of my life with great detriment.  There is a very high price to pay for survival.  I wish I NEVER had CANCER!

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I wish nobody had cancer!but unfortunately that day is a long time ahead and not in my lifetime ,hopefully! But saying one cancer is better than another is totally wrong and crule . I like many women on here are living with BC that will kill us sooner rather than later. I know everyone is fighting for funding but this advert is not the way to go about it. Helen(cat lady)

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

does Samia al Qadhi think that the brutal reality of breast cancer (85% chance of being alive in 5 years) is more or less brutal than the reality of pancreatic cancer (97% chance of not being alive in five years time)?

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

Whilst I understand that the advert for Pancreatic Cancer could offend people affected by different cancers the message they are trying to get across is that when faced with diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with a 3% survival rate, these very real life patients would rather have been diagnosed with a cancer with a much higher survival rate. Cancer in any form is devastating and the treatment can be awful, that goes without saying, however if you took the word cancer out the equation and said would you like a 3% chance of being alive in 5 years or a 90% chance of being alive in 5 years which would you prefer? Without question you would go for the higher chance. Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest funded research out of all the cancers and they are trying to raise awareness. I hope when people actually watch the advert through they understand the message. Having lost my Grandma to breast cancer, my Dad to pancreatic cancer and my Mum is a breast cancer survivor I am not biassed towards one side or the other, I just understand the message they are trying to put across and the awareness they are trying to raise.

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I was upset by the pancreatic cancer action advert too.  Like many others having had breast cancer you are aware of having had it every waking hour due to scar tissue,pain and side effects of medication and not something you would wis on anyone!

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

Thank you for the response BCC. I have posted about this on the Living with Secondary Cancer board here on the BCC forums. I have been touched by the number of forum members who don't have secondaries but have posted their support. There has also been some wonderful support from women in the States. Which shows, proves just how far a bad campaign can travel at the click of a mouse. I was sad to hear from a post on the thread I started which mentions one of the ladies in the PCA advert has received hate mail. I don't know if PCA have been in touch with you at all or whether they can somehow turn their campaign around to get much needed funds for pancreatic cancer without the thoughtless wish I had... part. I hope this may bring to your attention the general public need to know breast cancer is not all fluffy and pink. If the message now out there is breast cancer is a cancer to wish for you may see a dip in money being donated. We and our families know breast cancer is not a to wish for disease but some really do see it as a minor hiccup now. It makes it harder for those of us stage 4 and the newly diagnosed, in fact anyone with breast cancer. I could not begin to count the number of times I've read of employers, work colleagues complaining about days off needed for those on treatment, scans, recovering through and after chemo. Just 2 days ago I lost another friend to breast cancer. Many years ago she used to post here but everyone apart from me who knew her has died.

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

I wish people would understand the crux of the advertisemet.  No-one is belittling breast cancer or testicular cancer.  All that is being is said is that they wished pancreatic cancer had the same survival rates as those other two - 85/97% as opposed to 3%.  All pancreatic cancer patients want is the same hope that like it or not, other cancers have.  Also that all cancers have an equal share of the research fund.Everybody is well aware that people become terminal from all cancers and that is extremely sad but for the vast majority, when they are diagnosed with pc it is already terminal.

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

BCC people, are you aware that several users of the BCC forums, including myself, have posted comments to the Pancreatic Cancer Action "official statement" page,http://pancreaticcanceraction.org/community/blog/official-statement-advert/but these comments are not being displayed, presumably by decision of PCA moderators?- - -MrsBlue (metastatic/secondary bc in liver/bones, diagnosed 2006)

Re: Response to Pancreatic Cancer Action adverts: ‘I wish I ...

Lots of bcc forum members have left comments on the PCA blog, but sadly they were removed immeadiately , Well done BCC for being a cancer charity that is respectfull of other people with cancer who doesnt censor them.
An execellent response BCC to this extreamly insensitive and distressing AD campaign , written with dignity and respect, well done also to Breakthrough for their informative and speedy response ,and likewise to Breast Cancer Campaign,
Its a shame that other cancer charties such as PCA have little or no compassion for the 30,000 people living today with terminal breast cancer, and the 12,000 people per yr that will die of this disease , it is clear that the objective in this AD Campaign was to gain much needed publicity for a very good cause, but in doing so they were prepared to disrespect the feelings and suffering of those dying with breast cancer , People they have chosen to ignore, i can only say that i am proud that breast cancer is run by charities that doesnt seep to such depths to further their own cause. You have all acted with dignity, compassion and heartfelt sincerity, Thank you for your execellent work in raising breast cancer awearness , your tireless fundraising , and for being there for anyone who is affected by breast cancer.
Please do much more now to highlight secondary breast cancer , this is much needed ,the public needs to know that breast cancer doesnt have a cure , the survival rates quoted are based on those still alive, regardless of secondary disease , and that many many people are still dying everyday around the world with breast cancer ,
Thank You again
Other cancer charities could learn a great deal from you.

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