An estimated 154,000 Americans have metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most advanced stage of breast cancer, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Now, a new national survey reveals the daily impact of MBC on those living with the disease, reports Eli Lilly and Company.

Commissioned by Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company, the survey included 297 patients, 200 friends and family, 201 oncologists and 150 oncology nurses. The goal was to understand the many challenges facing people living with MBC and how it affects their everyday lives.

Among other things, the survey found that:

  • People with MBC report spending nearly half their time (47 percent) each week on matters related to their cancer, with emotional burden taking up the most time.
  • 9 out of 10 respondents (90 percent) report experiencing a new or worsened emotional or mental health condition because of their diagnosis, with anxiety (61 percent), insomnia (56 percent) and depression (56 percent) most often reported.
  • Friends and family also feel the significant impact of MBC, with 85 percent experiencing a new or worsened emotional or mental health condition since their loved one’s diagnosis, most often anxiety (59 percent) and depression (45 percent).
  • Health care providers recognize the importance of understanding the emotional aspect of MBC, with 45 percent of those surveyed reporting an interest in learning more about the impact of MBC on a patient’s mental health and 71 percent showing a desire to understand how to help patients maximize quality of life.

These results inspired Lilly to create the Thriver Movement. Part of its “More for MBC” initiative, the Thriver Movement works to increase MBC awareness through more education and research and to offer dedicated solutions to support those living with MBC.

Celebrity fitness instructor Anna Kaiser and yoga instructors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts helped Lilly create a series of unique Thriver yoga poses to represent the emotional and physical strength that people with MBC embody. 

“The Thriver pose represents the strength and never-ending spirit of women living with MBC,” wrote Lilly. “Each day, by re-grounding in this pose and flow, people living with MBC and those who support them can channel positive energy and strength inward and outward to remind themselves and others to thrive in the face of an incurable disease.”

Also joining Lilly to launch the movement is Oscar-winning actress and MBC activist Mira Sorvino. The cause strikes close to home for Sorvino.

“MBC takes the lives of 113 people each and every day. It took the life of my best friend [MBC activist Champagne Joy], and that is why I am lending my support to shine a light on the spirit of the women and men living with MBC and the ways in which they thrive each day. We need to do more to support them, to provide more resources, to offer more solutions and to generate more funding so they can keep thriving,” Sorvino said.

Folks are encouraged to post pictures and videos of themselves doing the Thriver poses with the hashtag #MoreForMBC. Lilly will donate $100 (up to $225,000) to the MBC advocacy community for every post shared publicly on social media.

Watch the video above featuring Kaiser and Sorvino to learn how to do the Thriver routine, and click here to learn about a metastatic breast cancer survivor thriving in a clinical trial.