Webcast: Just diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, what’s next?
In 2022, it is projected that over 20,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those diagnosed, it is estimated about 5 to 10 per cent will have metastatic disease at presentation, often referred to as de novo metastatic breast cancer.
For people who have had a previous breast cancer diagnosis, hearing that your cancer has spread can be devastating, and for others, it might be their first breast cancer diagnosis. It’s common to experience feelings of shock, distress and fear.
Having a clear understanding of what it means to have metastatic breast cancer and the treatment options available to you can help you feel more in control when making decisions about your care. It’s important to know that with current advances in treatment, people are living longer and with a better quality of life.
In this webcast, we heard from Medical Oncologist Professor Fran Boyle, Metastatic McGrath Breast Care Nurse Alice Gibson, BCNA Consumer Representative Ros Casperson and BCNA member Cybele Orton.
Fran practices at the Mater Hospital in Sydney and is a professor at Sydney Medical School. Her research focuses on breast cancer treatment, supportive care and health professional communication. Alice has been a breast care nurse since 2018 and supports her patients and their families as they navigate the complexities that come with their diagnosis.
Ros is a young mum who has lived with metastatic breast cancer for over five years and Cybele was diagnosed with early breast cancer in 2010. Genetic testing showed Cybele had the BRCA2 gene mutation, prompting her to have a double mastectomy and hormone-blocking treatment. Then, in 2017 she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
The webcast addressed what is important to know in those first few weeks after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer including navigating the health system, treatment options, identifying key members of your treating team, and the support and care available to you.