LBBC and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) announce the release of a free publication to help address the needs you may have in the months following a diagnosis of metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Series: Guide for the Newly Diagnosed is the newest title in our growing library of Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer, free publications designed to empower you with the information you need to make the best and most informed decisions for yourself and your family when facing a breast cancer diagnosis.
As president of MBCN. Shirley Mertz knows firsthand of the physical and emotional impact of a stage IV diagnosis. “Most new metastatic breast cancer patients feel overwhelmed with anxiety and a loss of control over their lives," she says. "This new publication will remind women that knowledge is power, help them find courage to educate themselves about metastatic breast cancer and hopefully open the door to better treatment selection and outcomes.”
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Series: Guide for the Newly Diagnosed is designed to help you navigate the first few days, weeks and months after a stage IV breast cancer diagnosis or recurrence. The guide focuses on medical, emotional and practical concerns with the goal of helping you to understand the biology of metastatic disease, form questions you may need or want to ask and provide available resources that improve emotional and physical wellness.
“Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network worked together to create this resource to help women become their best advocates,” says Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, LBBC’s chief executive officer. “This guide will help women understand the tests and treatments they may undergo and address the impact that metastatic breast cancer can have on emotional well-being.”
Nearly 150,000 people—women and men—are living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States. While a diagnosis of this type is life-changing, advances in research and treatment have made it possible for many to live longer, more fulfilling lives. LBBC and MBCN worked diligently to ensure that this guide was available to help bridge the gap between initial diagnosis and life beyond.
“I wish something like this had been available to me when I was first diagnosed, for my benefit and the benefit of family and friends who had—and still have—so many questions,” says Cindy Colangelo, a member of the consumer advisory committee that reviewed the guide’s content for accuracy. “Hopefully, this guide will help people acknowledge the elephant in the room that no one wants to discuss. Our goal is to provide a greater understanding of metastatic breast cancer and help affected women and families move forward by answering questions, providing information and giving hope.”
In addition to Cindy and other women living with metastatic breast cancer, the guide was also reviewed by LBBC and MBCN staff, health care professionals, medical and surgical oncologists, social workers, nurses, researchers and a palliative care specialist. William Gradishar, MD, of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, served as lead medical reviewer.
“As a group facilitator, I’m excited to present this guide to patients who seek wisdom, guidance and support,” says Marie Lavigne, LCSW, OSW-CAs, an oncology social worker and a member of the medical review team. “As with all of LBBC and MBCN’s offerings, it provides a cornerstone to the essential needs of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer—clear, honest information, hope and inspiration when they need it the most.”
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Series: Guide for the Newly Diagnosed is divided into six sections written in clear and easy-to-understand language. Individual copies of the guide are free and can be ordered online at lbbc.org or by calling (610) 645-4567. Larger quantities may also be ordered for a small shipping and handling fee. Additional resources can be found through LBBC’s Understanding Guides: Metastatic Breast Cancer Series and through MBCN. LBBC’s titles are: Treatment Options for Today and Tomorrow, Managing Stress and Anxiety, Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects and Understanding Palliative Care. MBCN’s titles are: Diagnosis: Metastatic Breast Cancer…What does it mean for you? and Get the Facts.