Metastatic breast cancer is a devastating disease and has taken the lives of too many women I know in the past few years. 40,000 women a year die of metastatic breast cancer each year.
For me, one of the names included in the mind-numbing statistic is Julie Ann Carpenter, a beautiful and vibrant woman my age to whom Positive Results is dedicated because she believed that information is power and because she desperately wished she had known about BRCA before breast cancer came knocking at her door. I remember the day she sat on the sofa in my living room and said "I have mets." I was shocked. We had just finished a workout and Julie looked to be the picture of health. She certainly did everything in her power to beat the disease, trying a succession of treatments, including experimental treatments as part of clinical trials. Some of these treatments bought her many months apparently disease free and looking as healthy as she did the day she told me her cancer was metastatic. In some cases she had more than a year of good health and time with her family and friends. Nonetheless, this relentless disease eventually took her life.
Researchers believe that BRCA and other hereditary metastatic breast cancers may respond differently to treatment than other breast cancers. The first step in determining the course of future research is to survey women with hereditary metastatic breast cancer about their treatment and response to treatment. FORCE is participating in this research and so should you. If you or someone you know has metastatic hereditary breast cancer please ask them to complete the survey at the following link. It will only take a few minutes.