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Guiding You Through Your Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Understanding Your Diagnosis

What is MBC?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Breast cancer is described in different stages. The stages are determined by the size of the tumor and if it has spread to a certain number of lymph nodes or other areas of the body.

Metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage IV breast cancer, can be any size and occurs when cancer has spread outside the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, bones, liver, or brain.

How is MBC Diagnosed?

Because MBC may impact different areas of the body, your healthcare team may use the following tests to confirm diagnosis of the disease:

  • Blood tests that may detect any abnormalities
  • Imaging tests, such as an MRI, PET/CT scan, bone scan, and X-ray
  • A biopsy using tissue or fluid samples to confirm the presence of cancer
  • Additional cancer lab tests to help determine the subtype of the cancer

Once a diagnosis of MBC is made, treatment is based on the specific test results and what your doctor determines is right for you.

There is currently no cure for metastatic breast cancer, but there are treatments that can shrink the cancer or slow its progress for some time.

Ambassadors were asked to share their personal stories about IBRANCE. All content was accurate at the time of publication and may have since changed.

Treatment Considerations

What To Consider

You want to choose a treatment that is effective, but it is also important to understand the side effects and consider how a potential treatment may affect your lifestyle. Talk with your doctor about which treatment may be right for you.

Know Your Subtype

Knowing your subtype is important because there are different types of MBC. Your doctor can give you a test and, based on the results, tell you which type of metastatic breast cancer you have.

Partner with Your Doctor

As you begin to weigh options, it’s important to have your voice heard and share in the decision-making process with your healthcare team. They know the science and details of your treatment options, but only you know your concerns and goals.

WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK

Find helpful questions to ask your doctor to help you navigate your treatment options.

Tips & Support

You’ve just found out you have MBC and you may be thinking, “What now?” Give yourself time to process your diagnosis. You may be feeling overwhelmed, but there are things you can do to help.

This Tips Sheet is designed to help support you as you manage your diagnosis.

Newly Diagnosed Tips Sheet

Here are a few tips and supportive resources you can print or email to yourself and loved ones.

It is easy to lose yourself in a diagnosis like MBC. You need people to help you get through this difficult time.”

Chris, Ambassador

For Those Newly Prescribed IBRANCE

The sections below offer information specifically helpful to those who have been newly prescribed IBRANCE as well as to those who care for them.

Making Your Support Needs A Priority. Together.

A diagnosis of MBC often takes support. At Pfizer Oncology Together, we make your support needs a priority. A dedicated Care Champion, who has social work experience, will talk with you one-on-one and provide resources to help with some of your day-to-day challenges.* Because when it comes to support, we’re in this together. For live, personalized support, call 1-844-9-IBRANCE.

*Some services are provided through third-party organizations that operate independently and are not controlled by Pfizer. Availability of services and eligibility requirements are determined solely by these organizations.

Connect With Other Patients Taking IBRANCE

The IBRANCE Ambassador Mentor Program offers patients currently taking IBRANCE—as well as their caregivers—the opportunity to speak with a Patient or Caregiver Ambassador on a personal, one-on-one phone call. To get set up with a mentor, call 1-844-390-8696 or register online.

 

Mentors are not medical or mental health professionals and do not provide any medical advice. Please contact your healthcare team for medical information.

Newly Diagnosed FAQs

What does hormone receptor-positive mean?

Hormone receptor-positive (HR+) is a subtype of breast cancer that includes both ER+ and/or PR+ subtypes and grows in response to 2 different hormones—estrogen and/or progesterone. If your cancer grows in response to the hormone estrogen, your cancer could also be called estrogen receptor-positive (ER+). If your cancer grows in response to the hormone progesterone, it could be called progesterone receptor-positive (PR+).

What is a CDK 4/6 inhibitor?

A CDK 4/6 inhibitor is a type of treatment that works to put the brakes on cell growth and division by preventing certain proteins (called CDK 4 and CDK 6) from telling the cell that it needs to grow and divide.

IBRANCE is in a class of drugs called CDK 4/6 inhibitors that work to put the brakes on cell growth and division in both healthy and cancer cells. This helps slow the progression of cancer, but it can also cause side effects, some of which are serious. Please see the Important Safety Information to learn more.

Is there something I could have done to prevent getting metastatic breast cancer?

No. Breast cancer can spread regardless of treatment or preventative measures taken.

Is there any financial assistance available to help cover the cost of IBRANCE?

Yes, the Pfizer Oncology Together Co-Pay Savings Program may help eligible, commercially insured patients save on out-of-pocket costs, and Pfizer Oncology Together can connect patients who are uninsured, under-insured or have government insurance with resources that may help you pay for your IBRANCE prescription.

Do you offer any support for caregivers?

Yes. Check out our resources here.

Learn about treatment with IBRANCE and results from clinical trials.

Turn to Pfizer Oncology Together to learn about financial assistance resources and get personalized support from one of our dedicated Care Champions.

CALL 1-844-9-IBRANCE (Monday–Friday 8 AM–8 PM ET)