To Know or Not to Know: Data in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Some metastatic breast cancer data is not available. And some patients choose not to know it.

With the constant advancements in metastatic breast cancer, there are many situations where there may not be clear data on long-term outcomes or quality of life for certain drugs, said Patricia Jakel, MN, RN, AOCN.

Jakel is an advanced practice nurse at UCLA's solid tumor program, co-editor in chief of Oncology Nursing News, and a breast cancer survivor.


We're leapfrogging so fast with metastatic breast cancer that we sometimes don't have data to tell you what it's going to be like in 4 or 5 years. That oftentimes is difficult for data-driven people. Other people, like myself, I didn't really want to know the data because I'm not a big data person. I want to know well what's the quality of life when you're on these medications? Am I going to be able to work? Am I going to be able to exercise? Exercise was important to me. So it really depends on what's important to you at that point in your life.