What is it?
Metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage 4 breast cancer or MBC, is when the cancerous cells have spread outside the breast to other organs or bones. These additional cancer sites are called metastases, often called “mets.” You may hear people talking about “bone mets” or “brain mets”, as those areas are common metastasis sites.
Currently, there is no “remission” for MBC. People who are diagnosed with or develop metastatic breast cancer are in treatment for the rest of their lives. Advances in treatment mean that more people than ever are LIVING with MBC.
Though there are clinical trials available for people at every stage of breast cancer, people with metastases may find joining a clinical trial beneficial to their treatment course. Participating in a clinical trial often means getting access to the newest treatments before the general public, as well as getting a lot more attention from a medical team. There are some cons to trial participation, however, including potentially more travel time for treatment, but the cost/benefit comparison is different for every patient. Talk to your doctor to see if there are any local trials that might be right for you.
Learn more about clinical trials here.
If you are interested in seeing what clinical trials, check out Clinicaltrials.gov.
Because of the unique needs of people with MBC, many different resources have come out specifically for them. Below are links to just a few of the resources we have found. If you are interested in an online MBC support group, look here.