Early-stage breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer: Being allies for each other
All breast cancer diagnoses can be traumatic and life-changing, but the stage often strongly influences our personal experience. The breast cancer stage can impact our view of whether the disease is a temporary or permanent state, whether treatment aims to cure or to manage illness, and even the words we use to describe how cancer has impacted our lives. These differences have caused rifts between people with early-stage and metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer. In this keynote session, our panelists explore the history of these differences, barriers to communication, and examples of collaboration. They identify experiences and strategies that bring all people with breast cancer together to further the goals we share: to find cures for disease, and to feel seen, heard and, ultimately, understood.