Komen vows to drive breakthroughs for the most-deadly breast cancers and educate those who believe breast cancers are easily treated or always curable.
Susan G. Komen Florida today joined with the rest of the national Susan G. Komen® breast cancer nonprofit organization to declare their commitment to conquering metastatic breast cancer (MBC) through public policy advocacy, research funding and ongoing education. In recognition of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13, Komen announced its commitment to create a research fund benefitting the more than 154,000 women and unknown men who are estimated to be living with MBC today, building on its $210 million investment in metastatic breast cancer research.
Komen Florida urged others in the Florida breast cancer community, including local policymakers, researchers, clinicians and stakeholders across the health care spectrum, to join with them in making MBC a national priority. For more information on the MBC Fund and how to support it, visit www.komen.org/mbc.
“More than 42,000 people in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer this year alone, most from metastatic breast cancer — that is unacceptable,” said Kate Watt, Executive Director for Komen Florida. “Together, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to save lives. Locally, that means we not only help fund Komen’s national research investment to help us better understand metastatic breast cancer, but we also provide resources and support for people living with metastatic breast cancer and for their families right here in Florida.” Metastatic breast cancer — also called Stage IV breast cancer -- is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. It is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver and/or brain. Of note:
Komen has funded more than $210 million in MBC research since our founding, supporting more than 500 research grants, including more than 50 clinical trials focused on MBC. Komen’s funding of metastatic breast cancer research has grown to represent 70% of its annual research investment — up from 50% just two years ago. The organization has been prioritizing the focus of its competitive research grants program on MBC – a focus that will continue this year.
In June, Komen announced a request for research grant applications focused on applying liquid biopsy technology to MBC. A liquid biopsy is a test done on a sample of blood to detect cancer cells or pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are circulating in the blood. If scientists can unlock the potential of liquid biopsies for metastatic breast cancer, doctors may then be able to use small samples of blood to detect metastatic disease even before symptoms arise, monitor metastatic breast cancer treatment response and adjust therapies, and develop more personalized treatment plans for metastatic breast cancer patients.“We also need to help those living with metastatic breast cancer today live better lives, longer,” said Komen CEO Paula Schneider, a breast cancer survivor who lost her mom to MBC. “We are establishing a dedicated fund benefitting people currently living with metastatic breast cancer. We can and we must support ways to improve quality of life for those living with breast cancer, while we search for more effective treatments that will give MBC patients more time with the ones they love.”
“Komen has stepped up its commitment to discovering breakthroughs for metastatic breast cancer and supporting those living with the disease today. They are reaching out to the metastatic breast cancer community for input, investing more funds in metastasis research, and educating people about metastatic breast cancer through their MBC Impact Series. By working together, we can get closer to the goal of ending nobody dying from metastatic breast cancer. I hope that other individuals, organizations and policymakers join us in putting an end to this devastating disease,” said Kelly Shanahan, a former physician, and current metastatic breast cancer patient and advocate.
Komen’s work to conquer breast cancer doesn’t end with its leading research investment or patient support programs. Komen mobilizes advocates across the country to support government research funding, as well as federal and state legislation that would remove barriers to care, particularly for those living with MBC. These policies would ensure metastatic patients are able to receive the treatments they require without unneeded red tape or being forced into bankruptcy.
Komen supports those living with MBC through a variety of patient-centered services, including:
About Susan G. Komen
Susan G. Komen Florida focuses its work on saving the lives of over 2,700 Florida women who die from breast cancer every year. With key investments across the state, Komen Florida seeks to impact the approximately 13,700 women in Florida who are diagnosed each year, ensuring that the most vulnerable women have access to high-quality screenings, diagnostics, and treatment.Mission: Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.