With the expert help of author and journalist Sunny Sea Gold, the “story” of the beginnings of the Alliance is now available for distribution. Including interviews with and case studies of some of our founding members, Gold has crafted an article that we hope will increase awareness of the Alliance and its work while also inspiring other groups who are interested in pursuing this advocacy model.
While the large-scale breast cancer picture has brightened over the past 30 years, there is one group of patients who aren’t faring much better than they used to: those with metastatic [met-uh-STAT-ic] breast cancer, in which the disease has spread from the breast to distant sites such as the bones, lungs, or brain. Metastatic patients have a median survival time of just three years—a statistic that, although improving, hasn’t changed dramatically in two decades. More than 40,000 people are projected to die of metastatic breast cancer in 2016. Despite these sobering facts, only about 7 percent of the total funds invested in breast cancer research over the past 10 years were specifically allocated for metastatic disease,5 and patient information and support haven’t been keeping up with demand.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance—a coalition of nonprofit groups, individuals with metastatic breast cancer, and pharmaceuticals and biotechs—was founded in 2013 to improve, and ultimately transform, the lives of people living with metastatic breast cancer. In a few short years, the Alliance has already made such strides in creating tools for patients and advancing research on metastatic breast cancer, that organizations focused on other disease states are looking to mimic the group’s model.