• 2018 MBC Conferences: Key Themes

    Headlines & Helpful Information, Community, Research, Advocacy

     

    With an estimated 154,000 people in the U.S. living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), also known as stage IV, a key priority of Susan G. Komen and our local Affiliates is to help connect  women and men living with the most advanced stage of breast cancer with access to the latest information to help them live longer, better lives.  

    MBC is the stage of breast cancer when it has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body.  It is the cause of nearly all of the more than 41,000 breast cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.  

    Over the past six years, Komen Affiliates have hosted various MBC conferences throughout the country to unite and support the MBC community. At these events, people living with metastatic disease, clinicians, health care workers and caregivers share their experiences and learn about scientific breakthroughs and emerging treatment options from experts in the field. Those living with MBC are encouraged and empowered to advocate for themselves as they engage with their support teams. In addition, caregivers are often provided with resources and information that can help them support those with MBC and take care of themselves.  In 2018, 19 Komen Affiliates hosted a total of 27 events supporting the MBC community.

    Photograph by Chad Estes

    There were countless important topics discussed in this past year’s conferences, but four key themes came up repeatedly in discussions across the country:

    The Importance of Clinical Trials

    Access to clinical trials continues to be crucial in improving the lives of people living with MBC. Clinical trials test the safety and benefits of new treatments as well as new combinations (or new doses) of standard treatments. People who enroll in clinical trials help contribute to research that may benefit the greater metastatic community.  Conference attendees learn about the importance of clinical trials, how to find clinical trials that may be right for them and how to discuss clinical trials with their physicians.

    Advocacy is Key

    Support from state and local governments is instrumental in the discovery of new ways to attack MBC. Whether it is advocating for the expansion of funding for breast cancer research, passing legislation to limit out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer treatments, or advocating for policies that expand access to clinical trials, conference attendees learn how they can become forceful advocates. 

    Photographs by Chad Estes

     

     

    Connecting to Support Programs

    People affected by MBC benefit from social and financial support programs, but may not be aware of all the local and national resources. Those attending conferences learn about and are connected to these options in their communities.

    Research and Treatment Advancements

    Drug therapies and treatment options have been discovered to help lengthen and improve the quality of life for people living with MBC, but we still have work to do.  Through these conferences, attendees learn about new treatments for MBC that are under study and the importance of continued funding for promising research projects.

     Photograph by www.chicagophotovideo.com

     

    Across the country, Komen is dedicated to helping the MBC community access relevant information and find support. In 2019, 30 Komen Affiliates throughout the country are planning to host over 50 MBC related events. These include breakfast meetings, dinners, and in many cases, day-long or two-day long events covering a myriad of topics. If you or a loved one is interested in attending a MBC event, contact your local Komen Affiliate to find an event near you.  

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