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Cities and States Around the U.S. Recognize October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

U.S. Congress Considering A National Proclamation to Recognize the Underrepresented Metastatic Breast Cancer Community


New York, October 13, 2009 /PRNewswire/ —

News facts:

  • October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, symbolizes a sense of community for individuals with breast cancer, however the experiences of those living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most advanced stage of the disease, is rarely discussed.

    • MBC, also known as Stage 4 breast cancer or advanced breast cancer, occurs when cancer has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body.

    • Thirty percent of people initially diagnosed with earlier stages of breast cancer will eventually develop recurrent or metastatic disease. In the US, an estimated 155,000 people are living with MBC.

    • MBC frequently involves lifelong treatment, such as chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapies, to control the spread of the disease and alleviate symptoms.

  • Through the efforts of breast cancer advocates nationwide and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, United States Congress is considering a national proclamation of October 13th as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, a day that has already been observed by many cities and states nationwide.

  • According to the recent Pfizer-sponsored BRIDGE Survey (Bridging Gaps, Expanding Outreach – Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Survey) of 950 people living with MBC, nearly seven in 10 respondents desire increased public awareness of MBC.

    • According to the survey, 53 percent of respondents believe MBC receives too little public attention.

    • Forty-four percent of respondents reported being afraid to talk openly about their experiences, signaling the need for more public dialogue about MBC.

  • Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day recognizes the thousands of individuals living with MBC, who want attention brought to this disease with the ultimate goal of having more and better treatments developed. People living with MBC need this disease to be recognized and no longer ignored and misunderstood.

  • For more information on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day please visit www.mbcnetwork.org.

Commentary on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day:

  • "While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, some individuals are able to live longer with the disease. However, metastatic breast cancer remains a clinical challenge in the oncology community. October 13 places emphasis on the disease stressing the need for new, targeted treatments that will help prolong life." - William Gradishar, MD, Professor of Medicine; Director, Breast Medical Oncology, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

  • "When I was first diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer I couldn't find help and support for my specific needs. This type of roadblock inspired me to become an advocate for women living with the disease. Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day recognizes the thousands of us living with the disease who want their voices heard." - Pamela Lipton, living with metastatic breast cancer

  • "Raising awareness of metastatic breast cancer, a largely misunderstood disease, will encourage research advances to bring us one step closer to getting treatments to extend life one step closer to turning metastatic breast cancer into a truly chronic disease. By calling for the recognition of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, we have taken a large stride in bringing attention to this disease." - MBCN President, Ellen Moskowitz

About MBCN

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) is a national, independent, patient-led, nonprofit advocacy group of more than 1400 members dedicated to the special concerns of the 155,000 American women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. As an advocacy group, MBCN gives those living with metastatic breast cancer a greater voice and visibility in the breast cancer community.

The mission of MBCN is to change the way metastatic breast cancer is viewed by the breast cancer community and the public at large. MBCN is a proactive group, striving to help those living with metastatic breast cancer to be their own advocate through providing education and information on treatments and coping with the disease. MBCN fights for the development of treatments that extend lives, while the search for a cure continues.

In 2007, MBCN worked with New York City Mayor Bloomberg to declare October 13 Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, to bring awareness to this misunderstood disease, in the hope of having research focus on treatments to extend life. Since then, MBCN members have gotten proclamations in numerous cities and states. In 2009, MBCN spearheaded National Metastatic Awareness Day by sending a group of patients with metastatic disease to Washington.