Learn something about metastatic breast cancer you may not have known.
October is the designated month to recognize breast cancer. In lieu of this, here are some facts courtesy of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network.
- Metastasis is the development of new malignant growths in a spot different than the spot where the primary cancer originated. The metastasis is life-threatening, not the breast cancer that remains in the breast.
- When the cancer originating in the breast spreads, it usually goes to the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
- About 155,000 Americans currently have metastatic breast cancer. This cancer is also referred to as Stage IV breast cancer. Approximately 40,000 people per year die of Stage IV breast cancer.
- Treatment for Stage IV breast cancer is lifelong, focuses on controlling the disease and maintaining quality of life.
- Approximately 6% of people diagnosed with breast cancer are Stage IV upon the initial diagnosis.
- Metastatic breast cancer can show up years after an original breast cancer diagnosis, annual mammograms and even successful checkups.
- 20-30% of people diagnosed with an earlier stage of breast cancer will develop metastatic cancer.
- Breast cancer doesn’t just strictly affect women; young people and men can develop it as well.
- There are different types of metastatic breast cancer.
- Choices of treatments are determined by breast cancer type, location, previous treatments, the extent of metastasis in the body and other factors.
- The death of those affected with metastatic breast cancer will be because of the cancer, but their lifespans can last many years. Metastatic breast cancer is not an automatic death sentence.
- Every patient is unique; there are no definitive statistics about/ for metastatic breast cancer.
- Visit www.mbcn.org (the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network) for more information.
Support those affected by cancer.
Show support for those you know affected by breast cancer or any type of cancer. Offer to help with everyday tasks or be the person that listens when a friend needs it the most. Furthermore, educate yourself. Here is a blog with great information for cancer sufferers and for those wanting to learn more, Nancy’s Point: A blog about breast cancer and loss. Additionally, if you yourself are affected by cancer, communicate with others in the same position and know you are not alone. Keep your head up and continue to win your battle.