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If you’ve been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, there are a number of ways to improve communication with your healthcare team and ensure that you’re getting the support that you need.

In this video series, Timothy J. Pluard, M.D. and Savannah Geske, Ph.D. of Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute explain several strategies for building a supportive relationship, navigating difficult conversations, seeking a second opinion, and more. You’ll also meet two women — Christa and Christine — who share their best tips for prioritizing your wants and needs regarding quality of life, communicating what’s important to you, and making sure that you’re being heard.

From strategies for navigating difficult conversations to patient tips on communicating what’s important to you, here are several ways to improve communication with your healthcare team to get the best support.


Many people with metastatic breast cancer find themselves thinking about the end of life. Needless to say, these thoughts can raise difficult emotions, both for you and the relatives and friends who care about you. It’s really hard to accept saying goodbye to the life you’ve built and the people you love. There is a natural tendency to shy away from open and honest conversation about death — even doctors aren’t always comfortable talking about it. But there are so many benefits to having these conversations now:

  • You’re likely to feel more in control of what’s happening.
  • Your family, friends, and healthcare team will know what you want, now and moving forward.
  • Many people find that airing their feelings and having plans in place actually reduces anxiety and brings a sense of peace.