“MISSING” is an awareness initiative of the Breast International Group (BIG) to remember those women (and men, in 1% of cases) who are no longer with us to attend events, enjoy parties and celebrations, or pose for group photos. Only by supporting research can we fill this unbearable void.
As an international not-for-profit association with its head office in Brussels, BIG brings together nearly 60 research groups from around the world. Its role is to facilitate and accelerate breast cancer research by conducting clinical trials and research programmes internationally. Since 2012, BIG has also developed a philanthropic unit.
BIG’s new campaign “Missing”, being launched as part of Pink October 2022, reminds us that despite remarkable medical advances, there is still no sure cure for breast cancer. “Missing“ depicts absence, somewhat paradoxical in an era of clicks and likes, while highlighting issues at the core of our society, which aspires to health and happiness.
Many take for granted that breast cancer can be cured, with diminishing donations as a result. But the disease still kills, and donations save lives. Donations save lives by making it possible to carry out research that otherwise could not be done, research addressing specific problems that remains poorly or not at all funded by pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, we feel the absence of those we have lost. By financing research, we work to save individuals and help keep families intact.
BIG against breast cancer raises awareness, while the research groups under the BIG umbrella work together to find better treatments for patients and improve their quality of life. It may not be the most glamorous of topics, but breast cancer research aims to make love last, preserving the presence of those we cherish, so that family and friends can stay together. All the people who appear in the “Missing” campaign photos are volunteers who wholeheartedly invite you to support research. This way, no one needs to be missed from family reunions and gatherings of friends.
To give an example: the HERA clinical trial, conducted by the BIG network in 39 countries with over a decade of continuous follow-up, contributed to the development of a treatment with the drug trastuzumab for the particularly aggressive HER2 positive type of breast cancer (which accounts for 15-20% of cases). This study, made possible thanks to the participation of 5,102 women, has already enabled more than two million people worldwide to benefit from a targeted, decisive treatment, reducing the risk of both recurrence and death by 25%.
This revolutionary treatment transformed a cancer once considered to be very aggressive to one that can be treated more easily. Since then it has informed many new studies, to save even more lives.
Please don’t ask me why I support BIG and its breast cancer research… Ask yourself why you don’t…
“Almost two years ago, swiping through some pictures on my phone, I (re)discovered a very sweet moment. Four friends surrounding a special woman, big smiles, happy faces, pure gold. And yet, I was deeply sad that this cherished moment would never happen again… Chantal, one of us, had sadly passed away because of an aggressive breast cancer…”