Landscape Analysis

Awareness and Action

Assessing the Needs of People Living With MBC

Upon our founding in 2013, one of the Alliance’s first task was a comprehensive analysis of the state of metastatic breast cancer research, clinical trials, quality of life, patient needs, and available information and services. Findings were released in a landscape report in October 2014, Changing the Landscape for People Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer, which identified opportunities to close gaps for people living with MBC. The report helped the Alliance choose areas of focus that continue to guide its work today.

Public Awareness of MBC

A greater understanding of what MBC is and how it differs from early stage breast cancer is needed among patients, their families and HCPs, researchers, and the public.

  • The focus on “fighting” and “beating” breast cancer has led to the creation and dominance of a breast cancer “survivor” identity, which masks the reality that women who have had early stage breast cancer can develop metastatic disease.
  • The focus on screening and survivorship can stigmatize patients who experience a recurrence or are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer—they may be perceived to be at fault for the cancer’s progression.
  • The effects of public and professional misconceptions or lack of understanding about MBC can negatively influence decisions made by patients and their doctors regarding treatment and quality of life.
  • More can be done to build the understanding of health care professionals about how to discuss treatments and quality of life, including palliation with their patients.
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