For Breast Cancer Patient, Positivity Is Everything

On a sunny July afternoon, Michelle Lemieux ran onto the field at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during a Boston Red Sox home game. While the crowd of over 36,000 people continued to applaud as Lemieux ran back to her family, only a handful in attendance could truly appreciate what she … Continued

Young Mom with Metastatic Breast Cancer Fights for Other Patients

Julia Maues was excited to find out she was pregnant — and then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through chemotherapy and delivered a healthy baby boy, but shortly after the birth, she learned that the cancer had spread throughout her body. She would need lifetime of treatment for metastatic breast cancer. The … Continued

Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide

Medically reviewed by Sara Tolaney, MD, MPH Metastatic breast cancer (also referred to as advanced stage or stage IV breast cancer) is breast cancer that has spread (or metastasized) from the breast and adjacent lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones, brain, or liver. Why does breast cancer spread? … Continued

Living for Today, Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Has ‘All I Need’

Krista Lawrence likes to joke with her two adult children that they don’t need to get married and have their own kids just because she has metastatic breast cancer. In fact, thanks to her excellent response to a clinical trial at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Lawrence is enjoying each … Continued

Cancer Fails to Stop Dream of Motherhood

Monica Jones was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2015, at the same she was dealing with infertility issues. Thanks to one very special friend and support from the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, Monica and her husband Matthew had the best possible outcome: Their daughter, Ella, now … Continued

Mother and Son Support Each Other Through Each Other’s Cancer

Anne Palmer never thought she’d face a tougher challenge than aggressive breast cancer. Then, shortly after finishing treatment, she learned her 25-year-old son, Kevin, had an inoperable brain tumor. The two diagnoses, which came in 2012 and 2014, allowed mother and son – who were already close – to bond even more deeply during their … Continued

Metastatic Breast Cancer Survivor Thriving on Clinical Trial

A clinical trial at Dana-Farber has kept Sharon DeCosta’s stage IV metastatic breast cancer stabilized for three years, allowing her a full life of traveling and doting on her three young grandchildren, with a fourth due in December.

Living Well with Metastatic Breast Cancer

In early 2015, Kim Delling had put her 2009 bout with breast cancer behind her. Then, at a routine checkup, her doctor ordered an additional test. “I knew something was up,” recalls Delling, a 50-year-old real estate agent in Wilmington, Mass. The cancer had come back. It had spread to her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes and … Continued

How Radiation Therapy Can Help in Metastatic Breast Cancer

When breast cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body, such as the bones, brain, and/or other organs, it is called metastatic breast cancer. Depending on their location, metastatic cancer growths can cause pain and neurologic symptoms such as numbness and weakness. Patients with metastatic breast cancer, which is treatable but not … Continued

What Are the Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer?

When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, such as the bones, brain, liver, or lungs, it is called metastatic (also referred to as advanced or stage IV). While it is not curable, metastatic breast cancer can be treatable — especially with the advent of new therapies, including biologic targeted treatments and novel drug combinations. … Continued

How to Advocate for Yourself If You Have Metastatic Breast Cancer

  By Lisa J. Frank I am a five-time cancer survivor – four times breast, one time melanoma – and a patient at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. I am also a full-time practicing attorney who is living life to the fullest with stage IV breast cancer that has spread to my … Continued

Breast Cancer Treatment: Yesterday and Tomorrow

By Eric Winer, MD When I was a first-year oncologist in 1990, there were 150,000 cases of breast cancer each year in the U.S. and 44,000 deaths. Breast cancer back then was viewed as a single disease. When patients asked me, “What kind of breast cancer do I have?” I would say, “You have stage … Continued

For Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient, DF/BWCC Milford ‘Feels Like Family’

As a breast cancer survivor living an hour away from Boston, Deb Ragosta was thrilled when Milford Regional Medical Center – located just a few minutes from her Hopedale, Mass., home – became affiliated with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) in 2008. While she had completed active treatment in 1995, she knew the partnership … Continued

A New Approach to Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment Resistance

By Srivani Ravoori, PhD, American Association for Cancer Research This post first appeared on the Cancer Today website. In a study presented Dec. 7 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, researchers conducted genomic analysis of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive metastatic breast cancer samples that had become resistant to therapies. They found multiple alterations that were not … Continued

Exercise and Metastatic Breast Cancer: Tips from a Survivor

By Sandy Cassanelli Finding out I had breast cancer in 2013 was very hard; learning two years later that my cancer was metastatic was even more distressing. But both times, exercise helped me face my situation. I was in the best shape of my life when I was diagnosed at age 36. I was running, … Continued

Choosing a Clinical Trial for Metastatic Breast Cancer

When facing a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, patients often have many questions about clinical trials: Is a clinical trial right for me? When is a good time to consider a clinical trial? What types of treatments might be available? While there may be many questions about the process, the decision to participate in a … Continued

I Have Metastatic Breast Cancer: What Is My Prognosis?

By Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH Metastatic breast cancer generally means that the cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes under the arm. For approximately 10 percent of women with breast cancer, the disease has metastasized when they are first diagnosed, but metastatic disease can also occur when cancer returns after previous … Continued