A focus on metastatic breast cancer

For more than 30 years, AstraZeneca has researched, discovered, and developed medicines to fight cancer.

Our company is also a founding member of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is recognized every October. The activities that take place during this month are meant to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to screening services.

But gaps still exist.

For example, we want to provide more resources and more medical research for people with metastatic breast cancer.

A breast cancer tumor that has traveled outside the breast region is still thought of as breast cancer in the new location. For instance, if breast cancer spreads to the brain, the tumor in the brain is considered metastatic breast cancer and not brain cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer—a form of advanced breast cancer also referred to as stage IV breast cancer—is diagnosed when a breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. If the cancer has spread to the bones, it is called bone metastases. Cancers that have spread to the liver, lungs, or brain are called visceral metastases.

Metastatic breast cancer often develops as a recurrence of a previously diagnosed breast cancer. In a small number of cases, metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed when there was no prior history of breast cancer.

Every person with cancer is different; who they become and what they need is different.

While we cannot and do not want to speak on behalf of these individuals, we have spent a great deal of time learning from people with metastatic breast cancer, talking to third-party groups that are advocating on their behalf, and collaborating with the doctors who are on the front lines of patient care.

So during this National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will blog about some of the insights that others have shared with us and point to resources for people who are living with metastatic breast cancer.

Check back this week for guest blog posts from organizations that offer resources and support for people with metastatic breast cancer.

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