This October 13th, during breast cancer awareness month, CCSN recognizes the unique experience of metastatic breast cancer patients. Approximately 30 percent of women and men diagnosed with breast cancer will at some point be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and while metastatic breast cancer can be treated, it currently cannot be cured.
This does not mean that those living with metastatic breast cancer cannot enjoy good quality of life! However, the needs and issues facing metastatic breast cancer patients are vastly different.
- Breast cancer support groups are mostly composed of newly or recently diagnosed patients and those who have metastatic breast cancer often do not have much in common with them. Unfortunately, metastatic breast cancer support groups are few and far between.
- Women and men living with metastatic breast cancer are in and out of treatment, hoping that their cancer will stop its progression so they have a decent quality of life.
- They need ongoing help both accessing and navigating the healthcare and cancer care system. Metastatic breast cancer patients and their families need ease of connection to accurate, updated clinical information, improved access to clinical trials, and readily available psychosocial support.
During this month of October, when there is so much awareness raising of and fund raising for breast cancer research, we must not forget the 30 percent whose breast cancer has metastasized.
“It is critically important to address the information needs and concerns of those living with metastatic breast cancer,” says Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. “Aside from purely medical considerations, the metastatic journey includes many practical decisions and adjustments. Each of these changes has the potential to impact those closest to the patient. As well, metastatic breast cancer patients often feel isolated and ignored, especially during October when they often feel that they do not have a voice in most breast cancer awareness and fundraising campaigns. We hope that our website section on metastatic breast cancer provides them a place to learn, to find resources and to share their experiences.”
This website section can be accessed here.
It includes information on:
- What makes metastatic breast cancer different?
- Statistics and research in metastatic breast cancer
- Metastatic breast cancer blogs
- Bone health in metastatic breast cancer patients
- Think before you pink campaign
- Resources for metastatic breast cancer patients