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Here All Year: What did you learn about MBC?


Revisit highlights and test your knowledge with our short quiz.

Launched in October 2020, our Here All Year awareness campaign was built around a simple truth: while October is breast cancer awareness month, people with metastatic breast cancer live with their diagnosis year-round – and public education and advocacy must keep pace.

Here All Year was created to bridge that gap by exploring a new topic around metastatic breast cancer each month. By sharing everything from myth busters and personal stories to new research and strategies for improving outcomes, the campaign both raised awareness and shared important facts and resources with patients, caregivers and the public.

Revisit the highlights of our year-long campaign, then take our short quiz to test your knowledge. Bonus: help make a difference for MBC by sharing with a friend!

Here All Year was conceived by Alliance member and former Awareness Task Force Co-Chair Katherine O’Brien, who passed away in June 2021. We are forever grateful for her keen wit, insight and tireless advocacy on behalf of others also living with MBC.

Click here to watch a short video honoring Katherine and her contributions.

We are Here all Year.

Learn more about the disease, so you can help us spread the word! By building your understanding of MBC and how it differs from early stage breast cancer, you can more effectively advocate for yourself and others.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

The most common sites of metastases in breast cancer are the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. But unless they have symptoms such as numbness or headaches, most MBC patients do not receive a brain scan. Learn about the need for more research, screening and breakthroughs.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Breast cancer in men is rare. But because they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer and may delay in seeking treatment, men carry a higher mortality than women. Learn the facts, and help raise awareness.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Not all breast cancers are the same! Understand the different types of metastatic breast cancer and how testing can help healthcare professionals select the treatment options that are most appropriate for the specific type of MBC. .

Learn more at the Here All Year page

MBC disproportionately affects women of color, with Black women more likely to be diagnosed with and die from MBC than white women. Learn about the stark difference in health outcomes, and explore the stories of three Black women living with MBC and one patient advocate.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Clinical trials are essential to the development of new treatments, yet fewer than 5% of adult cancer patients participate in this critical step in the research process. Explore ways to demystify clinical trials and address barriers that prevent participation.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and very aggressive disease that is more difficult to diagnose than other types of breast cancer. Learn why increased education and research is vital to improving outcomes and quality of life for IBC patients.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Genetic testing for inherited mutations can help people understand their risk for breast cancer, and detect it early. Biomarker testing for genes, proteins and other substances (called biomarkers or tumor markers) can help patients and providers choose the right cancer treatment. Discuss these testing options with your doctor to learn more.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Caregivers are the people who most often help a person living with cancer. Good, reliable caregiver support is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of people living with MBC. Explore helpful information and resources for caregivers.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the 2nd most common type of breast cancer, accounting for up to 15% of all breast cancers. Learn more about ILC subtypes and why this histology can change over time due to treatment resistance and acquired genomic mutations.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Learning you have MBC can be overwhelming. It is natural to ask: Who can help me? What happens next? What do I do now? Explore trusted resources from Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and connect with a community that understands what it means to navigate MBC.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

Integrative care that brings together the components of mind, body and spirit can improve quality of life for people living with MBC. Learn why, explore personal stories, and read about integrative care resources from yoga classes to mentorship available from Unite For HER and Project Life.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

MBC Quiz

How much do you know about metastatic breast cancer?

Take our short quiz to test your knowledge about metastatic breast cancer (MBC), based on facts from our Here All Year multi-media library.

#1. How many people in the United States are living with MBC?

The correct answer is: We don’t know

October: Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Month
We don’t know the exact number, since the SEER registry currently only records cases of de novo metastatic breast cancer (disease that is already Stage IV at the initial diagnosis). An effort to track metastatic cases arising from recurrence of an early-stage cancer is now in a pilot phase.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#2. What part of the body is rarely included in initial scans for metastasis?

The correct answer is: Brain

NOVEMBER: BREAST CANCER BRAIN METASTASIS AWARENESS
While all of these are common sites of metastatic breast cancer, most MBC patients do not receive a brain scan unless they report numbness or headaches. The incidence of brain metastasis is expected to grow as new therapies help people with MBC to live longer.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#3. Male patients are not eligible for breast cancer clinical trials.

The correct answer is: False

DECEMBER: METASTATIC BREAST CANCER IN MEN AWARENESS
Historically, men have been excluded from clinical trials of breast cancer drugs, which has resulted in limited FDA-approved treatment options for males with breast cancer. The FDA now recommends that clinical trials of breast cancer drugs allow for the inclusion of both males and females. Please note that currently, there is no data outside of the terms “male” and “female”. We hope for future studies that are inclusive of all gender identities.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#4. Which of the following are subtypes of metastatic breast cancer?

The correct answer is: All of the above

JANUARY: MOLECULAR SUBTYPES OF MBC AWARENESS
Testing for cancer subtypes helps your doctor decide which treatment options are most appropriate for you. If a cancer is hormone receptor positive (HR ), a patient can be either estrogen receptor-positive (ER ), progesterone receptor-positive (PR ) or both. Other molecular subtypes include HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), TNBC (triple negative: ER-, PR- & HER2-), and Triple Positive (ER /PR /HER2 ).

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#5. The mortality rate of MBC is significantly higher among young Black women than young white women.

The correct answer is: True

FEBRUARY: EDUCATING AND RAISING AWARENESS OF MBC IN BLACK WOMEN
According to 2017 CDC data, Black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other demographic, due to a combination of factors including systemic bias and less accessibility to affordable preventative care and treatment. Black women are also more likely to have aggressive forms of cancer.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#6. What percentage of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials?

The correct answer is: Less than 5%

MARCH: CLINICAL TRIALS 101
Clinical trials offer multiple benefits, from allowing patients to try new treatment options to advancing the approval of effective new drugs. Yet fewer than 5% of adult cancer patients participate in this critical step in the research process. Barriers may include lack of access to good information, financial burden, overly restrictive exclusion criteria, or lack of access to study sites.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#7. You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

The correct answer is: True

APRIL: INFLAMMATORY BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and very aggressive disease, can be difficult to diagnose since there is often no lump that can be felt during a physical exam or seen in a screening mammogram. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, a rapid increase in breast size, redness and “orange peel” or dimpling of the skin. (Lobular breast cancer can also present without a lump.)

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#8. What percentage of breast cancers are hereditary?

The correct answer is: 5-10%

MAY: GENETIC AND BIOMARKER TESTING AWARENESS
An estimated 5-10% of all breast cancers are hereditary; and a significant portion of MBC patients have harmful inherited genetic mutations that increase cancer risk. Hereditary cancers tend to occur at younger ages and are often more aggressive than non-hereditary cancers. According to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, women of any age with metastatic breast cancer may benefit from genetic counseling and testing to tailor their treatment.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#9. Who can act as a caregiver for a person living with cancer?

The correct answer is: All of the above

JUNE: CAREGIVERS AND MBC
A caregiver is normally defined as the person who most often helps the person with cancer and is not paid to do so. Family, close friends, co-workers, or neighbors may fill this role. Good, reliable caregiver support is crucial to the physical and emotional well-being of people with cancer. Cancer support organizations offer many resources that can be of help to caregivers in fulfilling this demanding, important job.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#10. Where can invasive lobular carcinoma metastasize?

The correct answer is: All of the above

JULY: METASTATIC LOBULAR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
In invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), cells grow in a single file and do not always form a lump or a mass. This can make it harder to diagnose. ILC metastases can spread to unusual sites such as the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., stomach, small intestine, colon), gynecological organs (i.e., ovaries, uterus), the leptomeninges (lining of the brain and spinal cord), the orbital canal (tissues behind the eye), and more. It is important for patients with lobular breast cancer to recognize and report to their oncologist any possible symptoms referring to these unusual sites of metastases.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#11. Which of the following are ways to care for the “whole” you after an MBC diagnosis?

The correct answer is: All of the above

AUGUST: NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH MBC
Metastatic breast cancer is life-changing, and getting a diagnosis can feel like an emotional roller coaster. It is important to have both supportive connections and personal coping strategies to maintain quality of life. Working with a healthcare team or a professional therapist can help manage anxiety and depression. Support organizations also exist to connect people with MBC to a community that understands what they are experiencing, and to provide information and resources for navigating changes in daily life, managing stress and understanding treatment options.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

#12. Which of these activities can be part of Integrative Oncology Care?

The correct answer is: All of the above

SEPTEMBER: INTEGRATIVE ONCOLOGY CARE
Integrative care brings together the components of mind, body and soul to improve quality of life, even while going through treatment – which for people living with MBC, is most likely the rest of their life. Integrative oncology practices and cancer support organizations can connect those with MBC to evidence-informed resources for supporting physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to make every day the best that it can be.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

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Results

Great work! You know the ins and outs of MBC. Want to go deeper and help spread the word? Visit our Here All Year multi-media library to explore more facts about metastatic breast cancer, discover resources for patients and caregivers, and find helpful content to share with your communities.

Learn more at the Here All Year page

You are still learningand that’s okay! There’s a lot to know about MBC. Visit our Here All Year multi-media resource library to explore facts about metastatic breast cancer, find information for patients and caregivers, and learn from the personal stories of MBC advocates.

Learn more at the Here All Year page