Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Gordon Front Cover Today's New York Times features a story about women living with metastatic breast cancer, cancer that has returned and spread to other parts of the body. Reporter Roni Caryn Rabin writes that many of these women find that their story does not fit the narrative put forth by many advocacy groups: that women can fight their cancer, cure it, and become "survivors." Rabin quotes Dr. Suzanne Hebert describing how she felt when attending a support group full of recently-diagnosed women: "It was a horrible moment. I had nothing in common with them. I was what scared them." Elon University professor Barbara Gordon, author of Breast Cancer Recurrence and Advanced Disease: Comprehensive Expert Guidance, felt similarly alienated: "When I was thought to have metastatic breast cancer, I could not find the information I needed. I felt somewhat like Dr. Herbert did, that I was facing a different world than those with earlier stages of the disease." Gordon was lead to write her book, which is now available for women facing metastatic breast cancer. It gathers in one place authoritative medical information about recurrent and late-stage breast cancer, and it addresses the practical, emotional, and interpersonal aspects of death and dying. Gordon says, "Even though women with metastatic breast cancer can benefit from medical knowledge to enable them to make treatment decisions and though they have a variety of related concerns that need to be addressed in facing advanced disease, there is far less information available to them than for those with earlier stages of the disease." We hope the publication of her book will help to change that.

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