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Viewpoint: The battle against Metastatic Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hear from two women about their battle with Stage 4 breast cancer in this week's Viewpoint.

BOISE, Idaho — In this Sunday's Viewpoint, KTVB's Doug Petcash sits down with two Treasure Valley women who have metastatic, also known as Stage 4, breast cancer and a doctor, who is researching breast cancer at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.

Metastatic breast cancer means the disease has spread to other parts of the body from where it started. This form of cancer is the most advanced stage of cancer and is responsible for most breast cancer deaths.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, there is no current cure but it is treatable. 94% of people living with MBC were diagnosed with breast cancer at earlier stages but their cancer returned.

"Not focus on the 'what ifs.' That was an important thing that I learned from my own counselor at that point was to stay with the 'what is,'" Carmen French said. "Right now I feel great. Yeah, there are side effects that I deal with with the medication, but we just keep pushing forward."

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Researchers say patients can live with the disease for years, even decades with treatment.

"I have amazing support, like incredible support," Lindsie McDaniel said. "It just makes you see the best side of people and realize that we're all just here working on this together."

Dr. Joe Gray at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon says he and his team are looking for new approaches to control MBC and are making progress.

"Meaning we know increasingly what the mechanisms of resistance are and we are able to link that to new therapeutic vulnerabilities. So once we understand how the cancer has become resistant we are able to identify a drug or drugs that can be combined together to regain control of the cancer," he said.

Gray and his team are also researching how to make cancer treatments more tolerable for patients.

Tune in to KTVB Idaho's News Channel 7 at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday to watch the full episode of Viewpoint and to hear more from Dr. Gray, Lindsie McDaniel, and Carmen French.

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