A breast cancer diagnosis at any stage can be devastating. However, women with advanced breast cancer are also faced with the overwhelming reality that they must begin additional therapy, or that they will receive treatment for the remainder of their lives.
Ginny Knackmuhs, 61, of Wyckoff, N.J., was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2009. She remembers well the frustrating experience of searching for information and trying to identify with resources based on others' recommendations. Ginny is now a board member of Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, one of 13 advocacy organizations that worked with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to create Count Us, Know Us, Join Us, a campaign that was created to amplify the voice of people living with advanced breast cancer. The campaign aims to educate others about the unique challenges and needs of advanced breast cancer patients in part through the revitalization of www.advancedbreastcancercommunity.org, a website that serves as a strong support system for those impacted by the disease.
Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, these people must make permanent, life-altering changes in order to stay alive. Yet vital information and guidance about living with advanced breast cancer - crucial for the person and their family following this diagnosis - has typically not been as prevalent as resources offered to those with early breast cancer.
Count Us, Know Us, Join Us also aims to help bring more recognition to advanced breast cancer by encouraging others to learn more about the disease and how to support those faced with it. Adjusting to an advanced breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, and those impacted can feel that there is nowhere to turn for information tailored to their needs. The website offers the advanced breast cancer community a central location for people to address the many obstacles that come with this diagnosis.
Number to Know
88: According to the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, one in every 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
Researchers have identified 24 new gene variations related to autism. The study, done by the University of Utah while collaborating with several other institutions, says the 24 missing or repeated stretches of DNA are strongly related to instances of autism. The study was done by examining the DNA of people who had multiple cases of autism in their families.
A company called Lineagen has released a test based on these genetic markers, and other previously known ones, to help diagnose autism.
GateHouse News Service