"Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer" in the United States

The challenge

Metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is a very different disease to early stage breast cancer, and most women with mBC will likely remain on some form of treatment for the rest of their lives. However, according to research carried out during the “Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer” campaign, nearly 70 percent of patients with mBC believe that their family and friends don't fully understand the differences between stages.

What we’re doing

The “Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC)” campaign was developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche group, in partnership with three advocacy organisations: Living Beyond Breast CancerMetastatic Breast Cancer Network and METAvivor. Faces of mBC has been developed to recognise the 155,000 people in the United States living with an incurable and the most advanced form of breast cancer: Stage IV mBC.

As part of the campaign, the site features a series of videos highlighting the experiences of women diagnosed with mBC. The videos show the importance of day-to-day support from friends, family and healthcare professionals, and how, after such a dramatic life change, it’s the little things that matter.

Additional resources on the Faces of mBC website include materials on how to take care of someone living with mBC, how to talk about cancer and how to give or receive support. The website also provides links to other mBC advocacy organisations where patients can find additional information on coping with breast cancer.

Our impact

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) 2015, Faces of mBC utilized its Twitter handle to call on people living with mBC, caregivers and those affected by the disease to share their experiences or a message of support on facesofmbc.org. For every experience shared, Genentech donated $1 (up to $20,000) to mBC initiatives that spread awareness of the disease and provide support to people living with mBC. Initiatives such as this have enabled conversations around mBC to grow, especially on social media where tweets about mBC more than doubled in October 2015 compared to October last year. However, as these tweets still represented 0.9% of the overall breast cancer conversation on Twitter, there is still much work to be done to ensure the concerns of people living with mBC are heard.