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[Abstract #186] Multidisciplinary Cancer Teams and Utilization of Resources for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC): A Landscape Analysis

September 7, 2019

Elana Plotkin, CMP-HC1, Marianne Gandee, MA1, Lorna Lucas, MSM1 1Association of Community Cancer Centers, Rockville, MD, USA


An estimated 250k Americans are currently living with MBC. While breast cancer is a high-profile disease receiving significant public funding, patients with metastatic breast cancer face unique challenges. ACCC seeks to expand the conversation to address gaps between early & metastatic disease and improve the management of MBC in the community setting.

Communication challenges that cancer care teams face with MBC patients include: using a tailored and thoughtful approach, balancing hope and realism, patient engagement during conversations, incorporating principles of shared decision making, patient financial concerns, and family/caregiver involvement.


An environmental scan was completed of nationally available resources. A survey on MBC Communication strategies was administered in a variety of oncology provider settings from Dec. 2018-Jan 2019.


Patient psychosocial needs were identified as the top challenge for working with MBC patients vs. Stage 1-3. 57% reported difficulty managing patient expectations, 55% reported patient financial concerns. While 66% of cancer programs offer a general breast cancer support group, only 27% offer a Stage 4 group. 59% of respondents rely on casual conversations with patients to assess what they want, only 34% ask patients to define what quality of life would mean for them. 33% document goals in the EMR.

Over 150 free resources specific to MBC were categorized from diagnosis through hospice, resulting in a curated online library that clinicians can use with their patients.


This patient population should be given specialized care to address their unique diagnosis and improve communications with their care team. The ACCC Resource Library gives both low and highly resourced programs access to more supportive care tailored to metastatic breast cancer.

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