For too long in Canadian women and men diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have been relegated to the sides of breast cancer organizations. A patient could not click on a home webpage or open a brochure on breast cancer and expect her or his needs to be upfront. Instead metastatic information is found in appendices or is barely mentioned at all.
The purpose of this website is to collect and provide information on advocacy initiatives across Canada to connect advocates and strengthen their efforts to address areas where MBC patients are under-served. Priority areas include clinical trial access, research spending and drug access.
5000 people die in Canada of breast cancer each year.
Metastasis occurs when cancer travels outside the breast. It is the deadly form of breast cancer – metastasis to lungs, liver, bone and brain and other locations impacts life. There is no cure for breast cancer once it is metastatic.
There is a dearth of statistics measuring the number of metastatic breast cancer patients and rates of progression. A working paper on the lack of statistics regarding MBC in Canada is posted on our Opinions page.
“Finding it early” does not necessarily mean an early stage breast cancer survivor will not develop metastases. The mechanisms of metastasis are not well understood.
Mammograms have been only one contributor to improved survival rates. Advances in treatments have played very important roles in extending survival.
Too few Canadian patients have access to clinical trials and potentially life lengthening newly emerging treatments.
The drug approval process in Canada and the provinces is slow and full of inequities for people with a terminal disease.
Continuing work is needed to introduce palliative care earlier in the disease trajectory. Palliative should not be seen as a scary word, but instead palliative care be recognized as a way to improve and maintain quality of life and ensure that pain is properly managed and alleviated.
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