If you know someone who has died from breast cancer, they died from metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer, or stage 4 breast cancer, is the spread of breast cancer to non-adjacent parts of the body — most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Many effective breast cancer treatments exist, but if the cancer metastasizes and spreads outside of the breast, there is no cure.
100% of breast cancer deaths occur because of metastasis, and almost 100% of people whose breast cancer has metastasized will die from it. In the United States alone, this means that more than 40,000 vibrant lives are lost each year.
Despite these stark realities, the popular breast cancer fundraising movements give on average only 2% of their research funds to researching metastasis. Instead, their primary focus is on prevention, which does nothing to help those already diagnosed, and early detection, which does not impact those facing the ultimate death sentence of stage 4 breast cancer. And while only 6% - 10% of initial breast cancer diagnoses are metastatic, 30% of patients diagnosed with earlier stage breast cancer will eventually develop stage 4 breast cancer and die.
This does not need to happen. Many metastasis researchers believe that metastatic breast cancer could become a chronic, rather than terminal, disease, if only there were more money to do the research necessary to develop effective treatments. As such, METAvivor has launched a nationwide effort to raise awareness about metastatic breast cancer, with a push to dedicate 30% of all breast cancer research funds toward the metastatic breast cancer that 30% of patients will ultimately face.
Please join this critical effort. We currently have regional teams throughout the US, volunteers in Canada, and are connecting with individuals or groups in other countries, where we plan to establish similar programs in 2014. Patients, family members, caregivers, friends, and others who support our cause are welcome. Give us your talents, your passion, and whatever time you have to spare. Become part of the movement to give MBC the recognition necessary to find the solutions that will save the lives of countless women and men worldwide.