Metastatic breast cancer
Being newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) can be overwhelming but learning about the disease and how to talk to your doctor about your treatment can help.
What is metastatic breast cancer?
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.
Facts about metastatic breast cancer
20% to 30% of people diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer 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 metastatic breast cancer
People of all ages, both men and women, can be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
About 6% to 10% of metastatic breast cancer patients are diagnosed with MBC as their first breast cancer diagnosis. This is called de novo metastatic breast cancer
There's more than one type of metastatic breast cancer. HR+, HER2– is the most common subtype of metastatic breast cancer, representing roughly 60% of all cases
Treatment options for HR+, HER2– metastatic breast cancer
When you're discussing a treatment option for metastatic breast cancer with your doctor, it's important to know that you have various options, but the decision will depend on several patient and tumor factors, such as HR or HER2 status.
Systemic treatment options
Most metastatic breast cancer is treated with systemic therapy. Systemic therapy travels throughout the bloodstream, reaching cancerous cells throughout the body. These treatments affect both cancerous and normal cells. Sometimes different systemic treatments are combined with each other.
Systemic treatments include the following:
- Hormone treatments
- Targeted treatments, such as Verzenio
Local treatment options
Local treatments such as surgery or radiation may be used to help prevent or treat symptoms of metastatic breast cancer.
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.
Speak with your doctor to understand the right first treatment option for you
You can ask your doctor
- 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?
- 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?