Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) survival time has doubled in the last few decades in some countries. However, the fight doesn’t stop there. People diagnosed with MBC, also known as advanced breast cancer, want to enjoy the extra moments and create more memories with the extra time they have.
Radio silence in metastatic breast cancer
To understand challenges currently faced by people with MBC and the doctors that care for them, two surveys were funded and initiated by Eisai Europe Ltd.:
- A MBC patient survey was distributed via patient advocacy groups and through HealthUnlocked between 12–28 August 2018 and had 171 responses from four European countries (France, Italy, Spain and UK) and Russia.
- A healthcare professional (HCP) survey was distributed via SERMO between 12–24 August 2018 and had 82 responses from four European countries (France, Italy, Spain and UK).
Eisai received advice from the following patient advocates and HCPs to provide insights into the survey findings and agreed a call-to-action to address the unmet patient and HCP needs in MBC:
- Professor John Crown, Consultant Medical Oncologist, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland • Dr Alexia Bertuzzi, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Humanitas Research Hospital IRCCS, Milan, Italy
- Dr Ana Casas, President & Founder, Fundación Actitud frente al Cáncer, Spain; Medical Oncologist, Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, Seville, Spain
- Elisabetta Veneziani Santonio, Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) Collaborator, AYA project, Cancer Center Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Milan, Italy
- Jean Robinson, advanced breast cancer patient, UK
- Andrea Cannon, Breast Care Nurse Consultant, Think Pink Foundation, Australia
The resulting MBC Radio Silence report, initiated and funded by Eisai, highlights that many women with advanced breast cancer feel isolated, nervous and alone. In addition, there is a growing need for HCPs to manage both the physical and emotional aspects associated with the disease.
The report outlines the following call-to-action points identified to improve the management and experience of people with MBC. There is a need to have:
Improved public awareness of MBC as a distinct disease
There is a need for public education that living with MBC is very different from living with early-stage breast cancer, as it is a disease that can be controlled but currently cannot be cured – this will help prepare patients as well as educate family members, employers, policy makers and wider society as to the nature of the disease.
More tailored support for the unique needs of people with MBC
There is a huge discrepancy between information and support currently delivered to women with early disease and those with MBC. Information needs to be streamlined and tailored to women who are facing a terminal diagnosis and there needs to be improved access to social support, to help them make informed decisions and make the most of the remaining time.
Greater focus on providing routine access to multidisciplinary teams from the point of diagnosis
Integrated care needs to be delivered to MBC patients upon diagnosis using multidisciplinary teams. This should include a variety of specialists including psychologists, palliative care specialists and MBC specialist nurses, to ensure that oncologists have support in delivering tailored continuity of care through to end of life and the isolation experienced by patients is minimised.
The FurtherMore campaign; countering radio silence
To coincide with Eisai’s MBC Radio Silence report, a new campaign called FurtherMore has been launched by Eisai with advice from pan-European and national patient associations.
The FurtherMore campaign showcases the lives of women with MBC across the world through real and personal experiences. Many of these women have found something unexpected from their diagnosis; something universal; a deeper sense of meaning in their lives and their hopes for living as long as possible. FurtherMore explores MBC through these unique and powerful stories, and celebrates what can be achieved when people with this diagnosis get the support they need to live their life to the full.
Find out more about FurtherMore at www.furthermore.life.
The FurtherMore campaign now calls on people with MBC and their families, to share their own unique and inspiring stories via social media with #FurtherMore and #MBC, and celebrate how they are living their lives with:
- More moments
- More milestones
- More memories
The hope is that, through these stories, we will raise awareness of MBC, and empower all people affected by the disease to go further in sharing information with their HCP about how they truly wish to live out the remainder of their lives.
The FurtherMore campaign was initiated and funded by Eisai Europe Ltd. as a service to support people living with MBC. Eisai is dedicated to their corporate human health care (hhc) mission, which is giving first thought to patients and their families, and to increasing the benefits health care provides.