“Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Do Not Hope for Cure; They Seek to Manage Their Condition.” By Erin Cox, Baltimore Sun

“With primary breast cancer, you get sick, you deal with it, you move on,” said Kay Campbell, 64, the group’s vice president. “With metastatic breast cancer, you get it, you’ve got it. You die.”

What began as a support group in 2007, METAvivor — the name is an amalgam of metastatic and survivor — quickly morphed into advocacy as news reports convinced the women that metastatic cancer gets short-changed in research. While billions are spent on cancer studies each year, they said, only 2 percent is dedicated to exclusively metastatic cancer. The members aren’t searching for a cure. They’re searching for a way to manage their cancer in the same way insulin makes it possible to manage with diabetes. In the past three years, the Annapolis nonprofit has awarded more than $275,000 in research grants to scientists investigating metastasis, the process when cancer cells travel through the body and take root someplace new. Experts say most breast cancer research is done on metastatic patients but most of the results benefit early stage cancers and prevention efforts. The METAvivor women see the funding gap as more maddening during Breast Cancer Awareness month, when the world seems awash in pink but talk of “the cure” doesn’t apply to them.

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