About MBC

Learn more about MBC and how to talk to your doctor about treatment options

What is MBC?

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC), also known as advanced or stage IV, is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. The common places for breast cancer to spread are the bones, lungs, liver, and brain.

Treatment of MBC depends on several factors—including prior treatment history, menopausal status, HR and HER2 status, and where the cancer has spread.

HER2=human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

HR=hormone receptor.

Facts about MBC

20% to 30% of people diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will develop MBC

MBC can occur any number of years after an initial diagnosis of early breast cancer, even after treatment and regular follow up visits with your doctor.

An estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with MBC

People of all ages, both men and women, can be diagnosed with MBC

About 6% to 10% of metastatic breast cancer patients are diagnosed with MBC as their first breast cancer diagnosis. This is called de novo MBC

There’s more than one type of MBC. HR+, HER2– is the most common subtype of MBC, representing roughly 70% of all MBC cases

Learn more about a treatment option for HR+, HER2– MBC

Treatment options for HR+, HER2– MBC

There are various treatment options for MBC. Treatment decisions depend on several patient and tumor factors, such as HR or HER2 status.

Systemic treatment options

  • Systemic Treatment Options

Most MBC is treated with systemic therapy. Systemic therapy travels throughout the bloodstream, reaching cancerous cells throughout the body. Sometimes different systemic treatments are combined with each other.

Systemic treatments include the following:

  • Hormonal treatments
  • Targeted treatments, such as Verzenio
  • Chemotherapy

Local treatment options

Local treatments such as surgery or radiation may be used to help prevent or treat symptoms of MBC.

Speak with your doctor to understand the best treatment option for you

Learn more about a treatment option for HR+, HER2– MBC

Partnering with your doctor

Treatment decisions should be a team effort between you and your doctor. Asking the right questions will help you manage expectations and determine the best course of action for your treatment.

You can ask your doctor

  • Talking to your doctor about MBC
  • Questions to ask your doctor about MBC
  • Can you recommend additional resources that would help educate me about my disease and treatment?
  • What are my options for treating my HR+, HER2– metastatic breast cancer?
  • How will treatment affect my personal life?
  • Is Verzenio right for me?
  • How is Verzenio different from other treatments?
  • How is Verzenio taken?
  • If Verzenio is right for me, what can I expect during treatment?
  • When can I expect to see results with Verzenio?
  • What are the potential side effects with Verzenio?
  • Do you know of any resources to help with financial support for Verzenio?


Verzenio is a prescription medicine used to treat a type of breast cancer. It is a medicine you can take if:

  • You have a type of breast cancer called HR+/HER2− (hormone receptor positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative) and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized)
  • Verzenio is given in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for the treatment of postmenopausal women, in combination with fulvestrant in women whose disease has progressed after hormonal therapy, or alone in women whose disease has progressed after hormone therapy and prior chemotherapy

It is not known if Verzenio is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

Verzenio may cause serious side effects, including:

Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with Verzenio and may sometimes be severe. Diarrhea may cause you to develop dehydration or infection. The most common time to develop diarrhea is during the first month of Verzenio treatment. Your doctor may stop your treatment, lower your dose, or tell you to wait to begin your treatment cycle if you have diarrhea.

  • At the first sign of loose stools, tell your doctor. You may be advised to start taking an antidiarrheal medicine (such as loperamide) and drink more fluids

Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia). Low white blood cell counts are common when taking Verzenio and may cause serious infections that can lead to death. Your doctor should check your white blood cell counts before and during treatment.

If you develop low white blood cell counts during treatment with Verzenio, your doctor may stop your treatment, decrease your dose, or may tell you to wait to begin your treatment cycle. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs and symptoms of low white blood cell counts or infections, such as fever and chills.

Liver problems. Your doctor should do blood tests before and during treatment to check your liver. Your doctor may stop your treatment, decrease your dose, or may tell you to wait to begin your treatment cycle if you develop liver problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Pain on the upper right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal

Blood clots in your veins or in the arteries of your lungs. Verzenio may cause serious blood clots that have led to death. Talk to your doctor if you have the following signs and symptoms of a blood clot:

  • Pain or swelling in your arms or legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fast breathing
  • Fast heart rate

Verzenio can harm your unborn baby. If you are able to become pregnant, you should use effective birth control during treatment with Verzenio and for at least 3 weeks after the last dose of Verzenio. Verzenio may affect the ability of males to father a child.

What are the possible side effects of Verzenio?

The most common side effects of Verzenio include: nausea, infections, decreased appetite, headache, abdominal pain, tiredness, vomiting, hair thinning or loss.

The most common changes to blood tests were low red blood cell count (anemia), low white blood cell counts (leukopenia) and low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

What should I tell my doctor before taking Verzenio?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant during your treatment, discuss this with your doctor.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Verzenio passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with Verzenio and for at least 3 weeks after your last dose. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Verzenio or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Verzenio and certain other medicines can affect each other, causing serious side effects and may require you to change your dose. Especially tell your doctor if you take a medicine that contains ketoconazole. Avoid grapefruit products while taking Verzenio. Grapefruit may increase the amount of Verzenio in your blood.

Verzenio is available by prescription only.

Please see full Prescribing Information for Verzenio.