Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in women worldwide, with 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer in 20201. Almost 700 000 people worldwide died from breast cancer in 2020, the majority of whom with advanced disease1. Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast multiply uncontrollably to form a tumour. While most cases of breast cancer occur in women it does occur in men too, although this is rare (about 1% of cases)2.Breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body is referred to as metastatic or advanced breast cancer. Common sites for metastatic tumours to grow are the bones, lymph nodes, lungs, and liver, meaning that signs and symptoms of the disease can vary greatly in each patient3. Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) comprises inoperable Locally Advanced Breast Cancer (LABC) and Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). MBC is also known as stage IV or secondary breast cancer4.
Treatment for the disease can include chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, biological therapy, radiation and in some cases also surgery5. Advanced and metastatic breast cancer is currently incurable, but treatable, with a median survival rate of 2-3 years, although variable according to the subtype of ABC6.
New technologies should help to accelerate advances in treatment.
With the advances in science, technology and communication tools, it is imperative that the cancer community around the globe joins forces to raise awareness of the disease and lobby for better outcomes for people living with ABC6.
The ABC Global Alliance aim is to improve and extend the lives of women and men living with ABC in all countries worldwide and to fight for a cure.