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Susan G. Komen Spotlights Experience of Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

By News Release


Susan G. Komen is putting the spotlight on the real lived experiences of those living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) during a week-long focus from October 11 to October 15. MBC, or Stage 4 breast cancer, is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, where the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain). Most breast cancer deaths are a result of metastasis. As part of this week’s focus on MBC, Komen is dedicating funds raised through during the week to fund research to better prevent, detect and treat MBC.

“We are committed to saving lives from breast cancer and that means we must continue to fund research into better ways to stop metastasis from happening,” said Paula Schneider, Komen’s president and CEO. “The hope for everyone touched by MBC is to live longer, which is why research is so important and every donation made to Komen makes a difference.”

The campaign, which is centered around National MBC Awareness Day on Oct. 13, includes a complete takeover of the organization’s blog, podcast and social channels to highlight five real stories that show some examples of the kinds of emotional, financial and physical strains that people living with MBC experience and how everyone living with MBC finds hope in research. The week will also highlight important legislation before Congress that would remove unnecessary delays in financial support from Medicare and Social Security Disability Insurance, which are often needed to help pay for treatment.

The majority of those with MBC were diagnosed and treated with early-stage breast cancer – sometimes years before – and then had a recurrence. People with metastatic disease are living longer thanks to research that’s increased understanding of the disease and led to new and more-effective treatments. In the 1970s, for example, only about 10% of people survived five years after a diagnosis of MBC, now the 5-year relative survival rate is 28%.

“There currently are no cures for MBC, which means at some point every treatment will eventually fail,” said Schneider. “Our goal is to continue to accelerate discovery so that there is always a next treatment available to stop a person’s cancer from progressing and to give them more moments with their loved ones.”

This year’s MBC week storytelling campaign across all of Komen’s platforms is made possible thanks to the support of Amgen and Merck.