Metastatic (also known as advanced or Stage IV) breast cancer is cancer that has spread beyond the breast to parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs or brain.
A recent Australian study funded by the Australian Research Council and published in BMC Health Services Research highlights inequities in access to breast care nurses based on the stage of a patient’s breast cancer at diagnosis. Some of the metastatic patients in the study believed that the lack of care from breast care nurses was because they had not had initial surgery. Instead of being seen first by a surgeon, people diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer are typically seen by a medical or radiation oncologist.
For women in the study who had been allocated a specialised metastatic breast care nurse reported that the care provided extended and complemented the care from the oncologist and provided much needed emotional and practical support.
We have a number of services specifically for people with metastatic breast cancer. We have a Metastatic Breast Care Nurse and support groups for people with metastatic breast cancer, including one for young women. If you or someone you know needs our help just call 9324 3703.