The Susan G. Komen’s NC Triangle to the Coast affiliate, working with volunteers in Edgecombe, Nash and Halifax counties, will host “Understanding Stage IV: A Brunch on Metastatic Breast Cancer” on Nov. 7.

The purpose of the forum, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the Mobley Atrium at the Fleming Building at Edgecombe Community College, is to provide individuals living with metastatic breast cancer — also known as thrivers — caregivers, providers and survivors the opportunity to learn more about metastatic breast cancer.

The goal of the event is to share more information about metastatic breast cancer and engage in an open dialogue between Komen NC Triangle to the Coast, clinicians, survivors and people living with metastatic breast cancer while developing a passionate, informed and supportive community.

“Breast cancer doesn’t kill people … metastatic breast cancer kills people,” said metastatic breast cancer thriver Stephanie Walker of Tarboro. Walker, a member of the planning committee and a panelist, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in July 2015 and will receive treatment for the rest of her life.

“It (cancer) is in my bones. I will never be cancer-free. My markers might be stable, but I will always have cancer,” she said.

Pam Kohl, executive director of Komen’s Triangle to the Coast affiliate, said, “We have to keep cancer in the breast. If we keep it in the breast, it doesn’t kill.”

The program will include a session titled “MBC/Stage IV 101” that will feature Dr. Sarah Sammons, assistant professor of breast medical oncology at Duke, clinical trialist, researcher and breast cancer doctor.

Sammons completed her undergraduate work at the University of Delaware, received her medical education at Sidney Kimmel Medical College-Thomas Jefferson University and completed her residency at the University of Maryland.

Sammons’ career focus is in the treatment of women with aggressive sub-types of breast cancer such as triple negative and ERBB-2 (gene) amplified. She also has a special interest in early phase drug development and toxicity management.

Also on the agenda is a metastatic breast cancer personal advocacy session with cancer patient Katie Keeter and Dr. Jay Manikkam, an oncologist at the Nash UNC Talbot Cancer Center. This is a conversation-style facilitated session where a local thriver living with MBC/Stage IV and a medical provider discuss the challenges and importance of self-advocacy and developing a working relationship between patient and medical provider.

A group panel will address the needs and barriers to care and will include radiation oncologist Dr. Michael Sorenson of the Roanoke Valley Cancer Center in Roanoke Rapids, Brittney Saia of the Department of Public Health, Scott Phillips, oncology patient navigator at Vidant Edgecombe Cancer Center and a person living and thriving with metastatic breast cancer and a caregiver or support person.

There also will be round table discussions.

This session will end with a 10-minute round table discussion to gather insight for addressing the barriers for people living with MBC/Stage IV in Edgecombe, Halifax and Nash counties.

Cost of the forum is $5 per person. Scholarships are available for people with breast cancer.

For more information, contact Community Health Program Manager Lolita Smith-Moore at or 919-493-2873. To register, go to