WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is raising awareness about the thousands of U.S. women living with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day seeks to generate attention and greater support for women living with metastatic breast cancer among the public and stakeholders within the breast cancer community and more research to extend lives.
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"Because of awareness generated by the breast cancer community and organizations like LBBC over the last 30 years, today we speak openly about early breast cancer and survivorship," said Jean Sachs, CEO of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. "But women living with metastatic breast cancer still face a unique set of concerns distinct from those diagnosed with early breast cancer and, even today, few programs are devoted to their concerns."National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress on October 13, 2009, after both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed an unanimous resolution. This effort was planned and organized by leaders and members of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. "While there have been advances in the treatment and management of metastatic breast cancer, the disease continues to end the lives of patients each year," said Shirley Mertz, board member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network and a metastatic breast cancer patient. "Women living with this disease need it to be recognized, no longer ignored and misunderstood. We need more resources and support as we try to live each day while being in constant treatment." Metastatic breast cancer—a form of advanced breast cancer also referred to as stage IV breast cancer—occurs when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The most advanced stage of cancer, there is no cure for metastatic disease, but it is considered treatable; the goal of treatment is to delay the progression of symptoms. It is estimated that approximately 156,000 women in the U.S. are currently living with metastatic breast cancer and this number is projected to increase to nearly 165,600 by the year 2015.