More than 153,000 women and men in the U.S. are living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), and face issues that are specific to this disease. Unlike the earlier stages of breast cancer, MBC (also known as Stage IV) occurs when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs or brain. Approximately 30 percent of those who receive an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis will develop MBC at some point in their lives.
“It’s important to increase the dialogue around MBC, which often gets overlooked in the breast cancer conversation, to raise awareness about the unique challenges of these patients,” said Laurie Campbell, Executive Director, MBC Alliance. “There is no cure for MBC, which is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, and patients will remain in treatment for the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is imperative that we provide patients with the resources to make informed decisions throughout their experience.”
Through feedback from members of the MBC community and ongoing interactions with patient advocacy organizations, we understand that much of the breast cancer information and resources available are not tailored to the needs of MBC patients. We recently sat down with several MBC patients who wanted to share their perspectives on living with MBC – addressing others’ misconceptions, understanding their own disease, and facing life with breast cancer.
As Lana, living with MBC since 2015 says, “What I’m trying to get a lot of people to realize is cancer is not just the pink ribbon.” See their messages here:
We connected with these patients as part of our initiative, Beyond Pink: Sharing Our Metastatic Breast Cancer Story, which was developed to provide online tools and resources to educate and support those living with MBC. Through our Beyond Pink initiative, we have worked with twelve community partners, including Living Beyond Breast Cancer, FORCE, and The MBC Alliance, to help increase the awareness and understanding of MBC within the breast cancer community and the public.
“We are pleased to be a part of this important initiative and are encouraged that more people will learn about MBC and the needs of the community, while patients can gather more information about their disease and seek out support through local patient advocacy groups,” said Laurie Campbell, Executive Director, MBC Alliance.
Many thanks to the patients who shared their stories and the organizations who have joined forces to further address the needs of MBC patients. To learn more about MBC, or for additional resources, please visit LifeBeyondPink.com.