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December 13, 2016
Association of Community Cancer Centers Launches New Online Resource for Metastatic Breast Cancer Multidisciplinary Care
ROCKVILLE, MD. — The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), partnered with the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, the Cancer Support Community, and the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBC Alliance), announced today the launch of a new online site designed to provide important educational information supporting patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. The new site pulls together vetted tools and resources to support patient engagement and education, links to the latest information about metastatic breast cancer, and serves as a resource for providers as well. The site is part of a broader initiative, launched earlier this year, with funding and support provided by Pfizer Oncology, to expand the current conversation about breast cancer and address the specific needs of patients diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer.
"The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is proud to lend its voice and support to this ground-breaking national initiative to improve the treatment and management of metastatic breast cancer in the community setting. By incorporating both educational and research components, this project not only focuses on providing current information on known challenges and issues around treating metastatic breast cancer patients, but also seeks to identify unknown challenges, including barriers to care, before they impact delivery," said Carolyn Ricci, Program Director, Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.
An estimated 150,000 to 250,000 women, in the US, are currently living with metastatic breast cancer.1 Metastatic disease — advanced stage breast cancer, in which cancer has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body — remains a mostly incurable condition and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women today.2, 3, 4 Public awareness and education initiatives mostly focus on early detection and survival. Patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer face unique challenges.
"As the majority of cancer patients are treated in community cancer centers, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance is honored to support this important initiative to improve the treatment and management of metastatic breast cancer. High quality resources exist for people living with metastatic breast cancer. This new microsite will aid community cancer providers in linking their patients to support," said Christine Benjamin, Breast Cancer Program Director, SHARE; and Information Task Force Chair, Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.
ACCC is working to broaden the overall understanding and to expand the current breast cancer dialogue to address gaps in communications about early and metastatic disease; and create resources for the treatment and management of metastatic breast cancer in the community oncology setting. “The launch of this new metastatic breast cancer information destination is a significant step in giving providers effective resources and tools needed to support their patients across the continuum of care,” said ACCC President Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP.
The new site will pull together tools and resources from cancer programs and non-profit organizations nationwide. “The Cancer Support Community is hopeful that this new site will be a go-to for health care providers looking to support patients with metastatic breast cancer. We are proud to collaborate with ACCC and other advocacy organizations to share our resources in a central, easily accessible location online,” said Kristen Santiago, Senior Director, Cancer Support Community.
Resources available on the Metastatic Breast Cancer: Resources and Tools for the Multidisciplinary Team site include:
- The Cancer Experience Registry® — a tool to identify and advance the understanding of the emotional and social needs of people living with cancer and their caregivers.
- The Dandelion Project — a first-of-its-kind approach to information for metastatic breast cancer patients and their families, designed using a unique set of visual tools that will help address the existing communications challenges, increase patient engagement, and facilitate alignment of patient and healthcare team goals.
- Metastatic Breast Cancer: Effective Principles & Practices in Patient Support workbook — a guide to help health care professionals identify effective tools and resources for supporting patients with MBC.
“We’re proud to be working with ACCC and the broader cancer community to ensure healthcare providers have access to the tools and resources they need to support patients with metastatic breast cancer,” said Lynn McRoy, MD, Breast Cancer Team Lead US Medical Affairs, Pfizer Oncology. “In particular, we are pleased to see the focus ACCC is putting on facilitating more effective communication between physicians and patients throughout their care. We believe this new website will make it easier for healthcare providers to benefit from the helpful resources available in this area on an ongoing basis.”
For more information about metastatic breast cancer and resources for the multidisciplinary team, please visit http://resources.accc-cancer.org/metastatic-breast-cancer/.
1 Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Silent voices: women with advanced (metastatic) breast cancer share their needs and preferences for information, support and practical service. Available at: http://www.advancedbc.org/node/26.
2 BreastCancer.org. Stages of Breast Cancer. Available at: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging.
3 American Cancer Society. Treatment of invasive breast cancer, by stage. Available at: http://m.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-treating-by-stage.
4 The Journal of Cancer Research. Breast Cancer Metastasis: Challenges and Opportunities. Available at: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/69/12/4951.