Each year, more than 42,000 people are lost to metastatic breast cancer (MBC), also known as stage IV breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breasts and into vital organs – commonly the brain, bones, liver and lungs.
Right now, more than 154,000 women and an unknown number of men in the U.S. are living with MBC, trying to make the most of the time they still have.
Sunday, Oct. 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and Susan G. Komen will be recognizing patients living with MBC and research efforts provide newer, more effective treatments for MBC all week.
Currently there is no cure for MBC and treatment efforts largely focus on helping patients live their fullest lives. Most patients living with metastatic breast cancer were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and went through treatment, only to find it later returned as metastatic disease. Some patients – about 6% of women and 8% of men – are initially diagnosed with MBC, meaning nobody is immune from metastatic disease.
Susan G. Komen is leading the fight to find a cure for metastatic breast cancer. We have invested more than $1 billion in research since our founding and dedicated more than 70% of our most recent research grants to understanding and treating MBC. In all, Komen has funded more than $210 million in metastatic breast cancer research since our founding, including more than 500 research grants and more than 50 clinical trials focused on MBC.
Next year’s research grants will focus on liquid biopsies, a simple blood test that will eventually allow doctors to detect metastatic disease even before symptoms arise, monitor treatment responses earlier and to develop more effective, personalized treatment plans.
As part of our week-long focus on metastatic breast cancer, we are unveiling a new MBC Fund dedicated to funding research breakthroughs specifically for metastatic breast cancer, and to help alleviate the suffering of those with metastatic breast cancer. All proceeds from this fund will go toward discovering breakthroughs for metastatic disease and to ease the financial burden faced by patients undergoing MBC treatment.