SCRANTON, Pa. -- The medical community has come a long way in detecting and treating breast cancer. But there's a small subset of women and men who live with metastatic breast cancer, which means it has spread to other parts of the body.
Offering that group some particular support and information is the focus of a symposium Saturday in Scranton.
Each year in the fall, the city of Scranton turns into a sea of pink for the annual Komen Race for the Cure. Fighters, survivors, and those who've lost someone gather to celebrate the day and support each other.
But there's a subset of women and men fighting a very different kind of breast cancer called metastatic breast cancer, which means it has spread --154,000 women in the U.S. are living with it now.
"Breast cancer doesn't have a cure, but it does have treatment."
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Dr. Marian Farrell is one of the organizers of "Living Well with Breast Cancer and Beyond," to be held Saturday at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
This year's forum, like last year's, will offer researchers, speakers, and panel discussions, not to mention breakfast and lunch, for anyone who would like to hear the latest research on metastatic breast cancer or who wants to find a community.
"They looked around the room and they weren't alone any longer. They had other people who have the same outcomes, same hopes, and had a sense of community resulting from that," Dr. Farrell said.
The symposium will also feature so-called "forever fighters," women who know they need to look at breast cancer not as something to beat, but as a chronic issue that can be treated, according to Komen's Dolly Woody.
"When someone does get that diagnosis, after they've done all of those things going through treatment, having surgery and coming out on the other side and believing they've beaten breast cancer, only to find out that 1,2, 5 or even 25 years later their breast cancer has returned, it can be just devastating," Woody said.
Newswatch 16's Julie Sidoni will be part of Saturday's event as the panel moderator.
You can sign up Saturday morning and it is free.