Information

Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC)
Most who receive a diagnosis of MBC have had a recurrence from an earlier breast cancer.  For others, this diagnosis is their first experience with breast cancer.  Regardless of how you arrived here, you still have breast cancer.  You will now live with breast cancer for the rest of your life.

For those with little, or no knowledge of breast cancer, you may want to refer to the Canadian Cancer Society’s educational resource on What is Breast Cancer?
http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/breast-cancer/?region=on

Breast Cancer in Men
http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-in-men/?region=on

Biopsies
Many women, when diagnosed with a recurrence, do not have another biopsy.  If you did not have a new biopsy, you may want to discuss this with your medical oncologist, particularly if you are not responding to your new treatment.  It is not uncommon for the pathology of a tumour to have changed, once there has been a recurrence elsewhere in the body.

When to Order a Biopsy to Characterize a Metastatic Relapse in Breast Cancer
https://academic.oup.com/annonc/article/23/suppl_10/x349/205650/When-to-order-a-biopsy-to-characterise-a

Biopsy of recurrent breast cancer can alter treatment, new study shows
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111128171218.htm

Prospective Study Evaluating the Impact of Tissue Confirmation of Metastatic Disease in Patients With Breast Cancer
http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2010.33.5232

How to Read your Pathology Report
It is advisable that you keep copies of all your medical records, including the pathology report. It is best if someone on your medical team will discuss the pathology report with you, so you can ask questions. However, we particularly like the resource below for understanding your pathology report. The report can be downloaded from this page.
http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/getting_path_report

Treatment Options
Treatment options will vary based on the specific pathology of your cancer, what treatments you have had previously, the site(s) to which your cancer may have metastasized, the province in which you live, and whether you have private health care insurance.  Treatment options will vary internationally as well.   These resources, although American, are widely accepted as the standard of care.

The National Cancer Comprehensive Network (NCCN):  a US based non-profit organization
https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/stage_iv_breast/index.html

The National Cancer Institute (NCI):  an American national cancer research organization
Treatment options, complimentary and alternative treatment options and cancer drug summaries
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment

Clinical Trials

You can search for trials periodically on this site, or you can register for free and receive trial alerts as new trials are opened.
http://www.canadiancancertrials.ca/

Additional Resources

Brain Metastasis
This is the most comprehensive and up to date site we have found on breast cancer brain metastasis.   Thank you to Laurie Kingston for finding this for us.  Laurie lived with metastatic breast cancer for over a decade, and in her final years it spread to her brain.     She has shared so much of her journey with us, and in so doing has been a source of information and inspiration to many women.  She will be missed by many in the metastatic community.
http://www.brainmetsbc.org/

Metastatic Lobular Breast Cancer, an understudied breast cancer

Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance
https://lobularbreastcancer.org/

The First Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer Symposium

Canadian Virtual Hospice
http://www.virtualhospice.ca

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