Take Charge

October 13 Is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

September 30, 2016

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Breast cancer awareness campaigns, such as the designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, are helping to increase knowledge and decrease fears about this very common condition, as well as raise the funds needed for crucial research efforts. All of this is very positive.

However, outside of the “pink spotlight,” there are thousands of people who are living with advanced-stage breast cancer – and these patients don’t need any such reminders. Every day, they must cope with the realities and uncertainties of this highly aggressive form of breast cancer. And, unlike those who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, this population tends to be off the radar screen of the average person. This has served to reinforce the notion that “all breast cancers are curable,” which is untrue; as of yet, metastatic breast cancer is not. Furthermore, if the needs of these patients are unaccounted for, it is not possible to plan or provide for them.

With all of this in mind, Metastatic Breast Cancer Day is observed not to increase general breast cancer awareness, but rather to acknowledge the specific needs of the people who are living with stage 4 breast cancer. The fact is, patients who are diagnosed with metastatic malignancies (in which breast cancer has spread to other organs) can benefit from a variety of treatments. Even so, their prognoses can vary widely. As scientific knowledge continues to advance, the overall outcomes for this group are steadily improving, but each patient’s experience is still largely dependent on many individual factors, including the characteristics of the tumor. Every one of these patients has a voice and a story that deserves to be heard. And, Moffitt Cancer Center is listening.

As a pioneer in cancer research, Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida. We offer a broad range of cutting-edge clinical trials and advanced therapies for individuals who are diagnosed with all stages of breast cancer. Each year, we treat more than 1,000 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, as well as hundreds more who choose Moffitt when they experience a recurrence. Our breast cancer survival rates consistently exceed the national averages, and our treatment and support options provide our patients with an enhanced quality of life. 

If you’d like to learn more about Moffitt Cancer Center, or if you have questions about metastatic breast cancer, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete our new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral to speak with one of our breast cancer experts.