(BPT) - People living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and their loved ones may feel less alone thanks to a new online community where they can gather information, share joys, sorrows and advice with others. The program, #ThisIsMBC Elements, sponsored by Eisai Inc. and METAvivor, provides the MBC community with a new resource to help guide them through their journey.
The campaign, which lives on MBCInfoCenter.com, features males and females of all ages and ethnicities who are living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). They tell their personal stories through powerful, avant-garde portraits conveying the impact of the disease on a person’s mind, body and spirit. The photos portray the subjects in water to symbolize the feeling of being “surrounded by” or “under water” with MBC.
Now people living with MBC and those who support them can get involved by sharing a photo or video about their story using the hashtag #ThisIsMBC. The goal of the program is to share personal stories to inspire others and change the misperceptions about the disease.
“For us, fighting cancer means we undergo treatment for as long as we live, carrying the physical and emotional weight that comes with it,” explains Halli Lannan, an MBC patient featured in Elements. “We work every day to overcome these challenges and hope to inspire others to do the same through the portraits and messages of Elements.”
The Elements portrait exhibit will live on MBCInfoCenter.com where people can view the patient model portraits, hear their inspirational stories, find helpful resources and draw support from those living with MBC. Each month, a new portrait, accompanied by a theme such as “friendship,” “perseverance” and “dignity,” will be unveiled and added to the online gallery.
“Research has shown that two-thirds of women with MBC find it helpful to read or listen to other peoples’ experiences with breast cancer,” said Beth Fairchild, president of METAvivor, the only nonprofit organization that supports the MBC community. “Through this portrait initiative, we hope to bring these women and men closer together by offering an avenue to creatively express their feelings.”
Metastatic breast cancer is an advanced stage of the disease that occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body. In 2018, an estimated 266,120 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States and an estimated 40,920 women will die from the disease. It is estimated that approximately 6 percent of women with breast cancer will have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. Women diagnosed with metastatic disease have an estimated 5-year relative survival rate of about 27%.