(BPT) - Breast cancer's impact is far reaching. Whether affected directly or indirectly by the disease, everyone can agree that finding effective treatments is a must. This is especially important for people with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), also known as stage 4.
MBC is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs in the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain. The majority of people with MBC were diagnosed and treated with early-stage breast cancer — sometimes years before — and then had a recurrence.
MBC is stage 4 breast cancer, the final and most advanced stage. Nearly all of the breast cancer deaths in the U.S. are a result of metastatic breast cancer. This year more than 44,000 people are expected to die from MBC in the U.S. alone, according to Susan G. Komen, the world's leading breast cancer organization.
Research has allowed people with metastatic disease to live longer, more meaningful lives. In the 1970s, for example, only about 10% of people survived five years after a diagnosis of MBC; now the five-year relative survival rate is 28% thanks to increased understanding of the disease and new and more effective treatments. However, there are more than 168,000 people in the U.S. living with MBC and still much work to be done.
“There currently are no cures for MBC, which means at some point every treatment will eventually fail,” said Paula Schneider, Komen’s president and CEO. “Our goal is to continue to accelerate discovery so that there is always a next treatment available to stop metastatic breast cancer from progressing and give patients more moments with their loved ones.”
Research provides hope and is critical to helping patients have those moments. You can help support research for MBC by donating to Susan G. Komen online at Komen.org.
“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 and to help provide new treatments for those living with the disease,” said Schneider. “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.”
If you are a caregiver, a loved one, or are recently diagnosed with breast cancer or living with MBC, it can be a difficult journey. Susan G. Komen strives to provide accurate breast cancer information based on scientific evidence, to facilitate a supportive community for people impacted by breast cancer, and to fuel research discoveries that will lead to lifesaving treatments. By funding research, people living with MBC have hope that the next treatment will be available for them.