WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the U.S., approximately 159,000 women are living with metastatic breast cancer. To raise awareness of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13, MedImmune Specialty Care Division of AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) is launching the My+Story online resource center, which highlights the needs of women living with metastatic breast cancer and calls attention to metastatic disease as a key component of October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2009, following a grassroots awareness effort led by members of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN).
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"Women living with metastatic breast cancer face a treatable, but incurable disease. Because we are always in treatment, our challenges are very different than patients with early stage breast cancer," said Shirley Mertz, President of MBCN. "We need support to help us live healthier and longer lives."The My+Story site at MyMBCStory.com houses tools and information tailored for women living with advanced disease. The website is designed to connect patients with the information they need, and links to patient support groups that have specific programs for metastatic breast cancer patients-- Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and MBCN. Visitors can learn about metastatic breast cancer and treatment options, find tips on how to take care of their bodies, and celebrate their life experiences by creating a hard copy photobook of personal stories that may be shared with loved ones. Women with metastatic breast cancer and those who are directly inspired by them can also create a personalized flower badge that can be shared at MyMBCStory.com and with their personal social media community to help raise awareness. "The My+Story site empowers women to communicate with their own loved ones and express themselves not as nameless statistics, but as individuals with a unique mind, body and spirit," said Jean Sachs, CEO of LBBC. "It is important for these women to create an enduring legacy through various mechanisms by threading powerful personal accounts that, when connected, make a meaningful difference in the story of metastatic breast cancer." During the month of October, supporters of women with metastatic breast cancer can visit MyMBCStory.com/awareness to download free educational materials and inspire members of their community to help raise awareness of the disease. Interactive features allow visitors to share their favorite images and information from the site with others via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Throughout the month, AstraZeneca will make a contribution to LBBC and MBCN each time visitors share content, up to a total of $28,000 in acknowledgment of the 28 years since National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was established and of the ongoing effort to bring metastatic breast cancer to the forefront. "MedImmune Specialty Care Division of AstraZeneca is committed to helping unify the metastatic breast cancer community by pairing the inspirational stories of real women with necessary resources," said Gregory Keenan, MD, Vice President Medical Affairs and U.S. Head Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. "Our overarching goal is to progress care for metastatic breast cancer and other advanced cancers through continued research and development in both large and small molecules to widen the variety of future oncology treatments available to those in need." 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. Although there is no cure for metastatic disease, it may be controlled with treatment; the goal of treatment is to control the growth of the cancer or relieve symptoms. In approximately 30% of women with early breast cancer, the disease will eventually return, or recur, as advanced or metastatic cancer. Approximately 159,000 women in the US are living with metastatic breast cancer, and this number is projected to increase to approximately 164,000 by the year 2015.
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