Fifteen Leading Charities and Advocacy Groups Join Forces to Change the Way Metastatic Breast Cancer is Understood and to Increase Focus on Research

Metastatic breast cancer causes 40,000 deaths each year and an estimated 155,000 women and men are living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S.


New York, NY (Oct. 11, 2013) – This October, between the survivor celebrations and screening messages, you will be missing some important facts about breast cancer:

  • This year, 39,620 women and 410 men will die of metastatic breast cancer in the United States, a number that has changed little over the past 40 years.
  • Up to 30% of early stage breast cancer patients will have recurrences, as early as a few months and up to 15 years or longer after initially being diagnosed. When breast cancer comes back, it spreads to many other parts of the body, including bones, liver, lungs, and even the brain.
  • While treatments for metastatic breast cancer can't offer a cure, they can prolong life — but not in all patients.
  • Oct. 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

That is why 15 leading cancer charities and advocacy organizations have joined forces to form the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance or “MBC Alliance,” with the vision of transforming and improving the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. More information about the MBC Alliance is available at www.MBCAlliance.org.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance aims to unify the efforts of its members and to increase awareness and education while advancing research and policy – efforts for metastatic breast cancer that have the potential to extend life, enhance quality of life and ultimately find a cure. The Alliance is being formed for the estimated 155,000 women and men who are living with metastatic breast cancer today in the U.S., for whom treatment never ends. Their hope for longer lives lies with advancing research specifically focused on metastasis.

“Together, the MBC Alliance will work towards a time when all patients with metastatic breast cancer and their caregivers can access the care and services they need, and find real hope in research focused on prolonging their lives,”  stated Musa Mayer, Founder, AdvancedBC.org.

“People living with metastatic breast cancer have unique information and support needs that the Alliance will aim to deliver. The Alliance will also push the research agenda to focus on extending life, improving the quality of life and ultimately ending death from the disease,” stated Marc Hurlbert, Ph.D., Executive Director, Avon Foundation for Women. “Founding sponsors Celgene, Genentech and Pfizer have helped launch the Alliance because they also believe that together we are stronger than the disease.”

Initially, the MBC Alliance will conduct a Landmark Analysis to assess gaps, duplication and opportunities in the field to gain consensus on a path forward to addressing the unique needs of those living with metastatic breast cancer. The Alliance will issue a report from the analysis in early 2014 and will aim to raise awareness around current promising efforts, and develop new approaches and actions to advance metastatic research, as well as work to understand and advance policy issues to ensure inclusion of metastatic breast cancer.

Key Facts

  • October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
  • An estimated 155,000 women and men, young and old, are living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S.
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer currently has no cure and treatment is life-long, with patients switching from one drug to the next after each fails to control the cancer.
  • Among people diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, 20-30% will go on to develop recurrent, metastatic disease.
  • Metastatic (Stage IV) breast cancer is the initial diagnosis for 6-10% of all new cases each year in the U.S.
  • There are different types of metastatic breast cancer, just like there are different types of early cancers.

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About the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (www.MBCAlliance.org) is being formed by 15 cancer charities and advocacy groups to transform and improve the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. Founding member organizations include AdvancedBC.org, Avon Foundation for Women, Breastcancer.org, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation; Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, Research Advocacy Network, SHARE, Sisters Network, Susan G. Komen, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and Young Survival Coalition. The Alliance is being funded in part by Celgene Corporation, Genentech and Pfizer.  

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