Metastatic Breast Cancer Deserves Our Attention 365 Days a Year
We asked our community of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC; also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer) to share what they wish people knew about their disease.
“Here I am dealing with the biggest challenge of my life and very few understand it or see it.”
First, they want you to know the facts:
- MBC is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body such as to the bones, liver, brain, or lungs.
- An estimated 155,000 people in the United States are living with MBC.
- One in 3 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will go on to eventually be diagnosed with MBC.
- Approximately 6-10% of new breast cancer cases are stage IV, or metastatic, from initial diagnosis, sometimes called “de novo” metastatic disease (de novo means “from the beginning”).
- MBC accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.
“The biggest thing I wish others understood is that MBC is the only type of breast cancer that people die from, and they still die in alarming numbers. Due to pink washing, a surprising number of people believe that breast cancer is very curable and you have no worries if you get regular mammograms and do self-exams. They are stunned to find out that about 40,000 still die annually.”
Our community wants you to know the realities of living with MBC:
- A person with MBC will always be in and out of treatment. There is no cure.
“There is no ‘beating’ it no matter what a ‘warrior’ I am or hard I ‘battle.’”
“Many of my colleagues assume that because I appear and act well, I am cured. I feel the need to educate them that I will never be cured, my disease can only be managed.”
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