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The Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Experience

  • Although there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, it is very treatable. Thanks to new therapies developed through clinical trials, women and men with metastatic breast cancer often lead full, active lives.

    Still, living with incurable cancer takes a certain kind of courage and resolve. The following individuals share their insights into what they've learned and into what keeps them grounded, purposeful, and happy as they go about their day-to-day lives, living with metastatic breast cancer.

  • Allison Rebello

    Allison regularly meets to swap stories and advice with other women in EMBRACing Young and Strong, a community of younger metastatic breast cancer patients treated at Dana-Farber. "It makes my day better to be with fellow patients. They make me strong, and I hope I do the same for them."

    Read about Allison Rebello — a dragon boat racer with MBC — and her exceptional team spirit on the water and with her fellow patients.

    patient Allison Rebello

    Duncan Finigan

    "I choose to call it treatable, non-curable cancer. On my first appointment they told me, 'You're going to live for many, many years. We have solutions to deal with your cancer. You have a chronic disease, like diabetes.'"

    Watch a video of Duncan Finigan telling her story at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers Executive Council Breakfast.

    Listen to a podcast with Duncan speaking to her oncologist, Dr. Eric Winer, about her treatment experience.

    Duncan Finigan

    Lise Pass

    "You have to empower yourself against cancer, to think of it as an uninvited guest. You may need to live with it, but you can't let it encompass you. I am a 55-year-old wife and mother who cares for children who need me. I am so much more than the cancer."

    Read about Lise Pass — a foster parent of 48 children — who has been living with metastatic breast cancer for nearly a decade.

    Lise Pass

    Michael Selsman

    "Men don't have the opportunities to find breast cancer during a routine check-up like women do. I want to change that, and save other families from the pain and challenge of living with stage IV male breast cancer."

    Learn how Dana-Farber approaches male breast cancer, and read an informative Q & A on this often overlooked topic.

    Michael Selsman

    About Our Patient Stories

    Dana-Farber shares patient stories which may include descriptions of actual medical results. Dana-Farber provides personalized care for each patient based on their unique needs; their experiences and results will vary.

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  • 2022-2023 EMBRACE Metastatic Breast Cancer Forum Series

    The 2022-2023 EMBRACE Metastatic Breast Cancer Forum Series of online educational programs for patients, families, and loved ones was held from October 2023 to May 2024. We hope you join us for the next series!

    View forum series recordings