For Immediate Release:
Thursday, November 3, 2016
TENNESSEE GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS NOVEMBER
METASTATIC BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
NASHVILLE – Metastatic breast cancer, also known as advanced stage or stage IV breast cancer, affects thousands of families across Tennessee. This devastating stage of breast cancer occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver and brain.
More than one in eight women in the U.S. will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetimes. Specifically, in Tennessee, it is expected that 37,650 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and tragically nearly 41,000 Americans and 14,560 Tennesseans are expected to lose their battle with breast cancer this year.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed November as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We appreciate Governor Haslam for bringing attention to this devastating disease,” Jennifer Murray, president of the Tennessee Cancer Consortium said. “It is important that Tennesseans are aware of and informed about metastatic breast cancer. Nearly 30 percent of women diagnosed with early breast cancer eventually will develop metastatic breast cancer. These patients face additional challenges along with the fact that breast cancer can spread quickly to other parts of the body, regardless of the treatment or preventative measures taken.”
A survey of 2,000 American adults conducted in 2014 showed that more than 60 percent of respondents knew little to nothing about metastatic breast cancer, and 72 percent incorrectly believed that breast cancer in the advanced stages is curable if diagnosed early.
The median survival after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is approximately 3 years. Survival times vary greatly from person to person, however, and some research indicates that up to 40 percent of women will survive 5 years after a diagnosis and possibly longer. Metastatic breast cancer frequently involves trying multiple treatments and patients usually fluctuate in and out of remission.
Currently no cure exists for metastatic breast cancer, however, extensive drug development efforts are underway to address this high unmet need. Patients, family members and the public can find information about current clinical research studies at https://ClinicalTrials.gov, a searchable database.
Tennesseans diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer are encouraged to speak with their physician to learn more about the disease, and they can find information about support groups and services in their community or online.
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