Positive News for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Positive News For Triple Negative Breast Cancer By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Almost 150,000 patients and caregivers have interest in, have joined communities, have searched and posted about breast cancer and advanced breast cancer on Inspire. Almost 22,000 posts have been written about breast cancer research. There has been intense interest in finding medications that can penetrate the 10-20% of breast cancers that don’t respond to the medications that target three hormone and protein receptors on the tumor cell’s surface. When a breast tumor cell lacks the receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER-1 or -2 on the [...]

October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day

October 13th is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH The symbol for breast cancer awareness is a pink ribbon. But for people with the disease, one month and a pink ribbon are not enough. Many cancer drugs are evaluated by the amount of time the treatment delays progression, and despite new treatments and genetic advances, the 5-year survival rate for advanced or metastatic breast cancer is still just 27%. As Judy Perkins, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2013, said, “I have little interest in pink ribbons… I don’t want a ribbon. I [...]

Motivating change through online patient sharing

Motivating change through online patient sharing By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH Humans evolved as storytellers. Experiences of the weather, nature, life, and the world have been explained through legends and myths. Sharing stories continues to build and maintain community. As Marie Ennis O’Connor, Irish breast cancer survivor, blogger and marketing consultant states, patients’ stories are authentic and genuine “windows into the lived experience,”1 or as linguists would argue, their stories are rich sources of “real world evidence.” Breast cancer patients have been sharing their stories online for many years now. On July 4, 2011, the #BCSM (for [...]