October 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer) is a stage of breast cancer in which the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain).
Some facts about metastatic breast cancer:
- An estimated 155,000 women and men, young and old, are living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S.
- This year, 39,620 women and 410 men will die of metastatic breast cancer in the United States, a number that has changed little over the past 40 years.
- Among people diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, 20-30% will go on to develop recurrent, metastatic disease.
- Metastatic breast cancer is the initial diagnosis for 6-10% of all new cases each year in the U.S.
- While treatments for metastatic breast cancer can’t offer a cure, they can prolong life – but not in all patients.
- Metastatic breast cancer currently has no cure and treatment is life-long, with patients switching from one drug to the next after each fails to control the cancer.
- There are different types of metastic breast cancer, just like there are different types of early cancers.
That is why Susan G. Komen® and 14 other leading cancer charities and advocacy organizations have joined forces to form the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBC Alliance), with the vision of transforming and improving the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.
The MBC Alliance aims to unify the efforts of its members and to increase awareness and education while advancing research and policy – efforts for metastatic breast cancer that have the potential to extend life, enhance quality of life and ultimately find a cure. The Alliance is being formed for the estimated 155,000 women and men who are living with metastatic breast cancer today in the U.S., for whom treatment never ends. Their hope for longer lives lies with advancing research specifically focused on metastasis.
Initially, the MBC Alliance will conduct a Landmark Analysis to assess gaps, duplication and opportunities in the field to gain consensus on a path forward to addressing the unique needs of those living with metastatic breast cancer. The Alliance will issue a report from the analysis in early 2014 and will aim to raise awareness around current promising efforts, and develop new approaches and actions to advance metastatic research, as well as work to understand and advance policy issues to ensure inclusion of metastatic breast cancer.
Learn more about the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance at http://MBCAlliance.org/.