Pfizer Partners with Breast Cancer Leaders to Chronicle the Lives of Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer through the Lenses of Prominent Photographers

Next chapter of the "Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told" initiative encourages all to share photos and messages of hope using the hashtag #StoryHalfTold

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 5:00pm

Pfizer Inc., in partnership with five leading breast cancer advocacy organizations, today announced the next chapter of the Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told initiative, launched in 2014 to identify public misperceptions and gaps in knowledge surrounding metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most advanced form of breast cancer. Research conducted as part of this initiative revealed that the majority of Americans (60%) reported they know little to nothing about MBC.1The new chapter aims to address this lack of understanding through the perspectives of women living with MBC, as chronicled by prominent photographers.

"The findings from our Story Half Told research underscored the need to bring metastatic breast cancer into the public dialogue in a meaningful way. Through this program, we are aiming to do that not only by communicating the facts about metastatic breast cancer, but by sharing the stories of women who are living with it," said Liz Barrett, president and general manager, Pfizer Oncology. "Pfizer is proud to be working with our advocacy partners and Story Half Told participants to dispel misperceptions, combat stigma and foster a more inclusive breast cancer conversation going forward."

MBC affects 150,000-250,000 women in the U.S. alone.2 As part of this initiative, five photographers with a significant Instagram presence have joined with Pfizer to capture the daily lives of five women living with MBC. This photography-based initiative is featured on the @StoryHalfTold Instagram account, as well as on is external) and the program Facebook and Twitter accounts. Through this program, Pfizer invites others with MBC and all those who support them, to join in and share their own photos and messages of hope using the hashtag #StoryHalfTold.

"Story Half Told continues my dream as a lifer to help educate the nation about metastatic breast cancer," said Holley Kitchen, who participated in the program. "Through photography, this program depicts the unique challenges we face daily – and expresses that our lives continue as normally as possible despite our disease."

"The Story Half Told program strives to create an environment where people across the country can become more knowledgeable about metastatic breast cancer," said Shirley Mertz, president, Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. "At the same time, they can join an initiative to support women living with the disease who often feel alone. When people truly understand what a group of women are facing, human compassion, improved communications and support naturally follow."

Women Living with MBC and the Photographers

The five women living with MBC who are participating in this initiative are advocates, bloggers, working professionals, mothers, daughters and/or wives – all who openly share the realities of the disease and the joys of their full and meaningful lives through this program. The photographers they have been paired with have taken photos for prominent publications, developed cancer photo-documentaries, been featured in museum collections and possess a passion for sharing their work with a collective fan base of millions on social media.

Meet the women who are sharing their stories and the photographers who are bringing them to life:

About the Partner Organizations

Since the inception of Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told, its success has been dependent on valuable input received from the patient advocacy community. To introduce the next chapter, Pfizer worked with a diverse group of breast cancer advocacy organizations, who provided counsel and support:

  • Cancer Support Community
  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
  • Young Survival Coalition

About Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told

Pfizer launched Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told in October 2014 hand-in-hand with a steering committee of patient advocates, healthcare professionals and subject-matter experts by unveiling research aimed at understanding the societal misperceptions of MBC and gaps in patient-physician dialogue. These results culminated in a public call-to-action to heighten understanding and knowledge of MBC within society as whole and improving patient-physician conversations.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted as part of the launch in 2014 informed this next chapter of Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told and revealed:1

  • More than 60% of respondents reported they know little to nothing about MBC.
  • Widespread misperceptions exist around the disease, including:
    • 72% incorrectly believed that breast cancer in the advanced stages is curable if diagnosed early.
    • 50% incorrectly believed breast cancer progresses because patients either did not take the right treatment or preventative measures.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more, please visit us at


1 Breast Cancer Survey, sponsored by Pfizer Oncology. April 2014.

2 Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Silent voices: preferences for information, support and practical service. Available at: is external). Accessed September 2, 2015.


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Sally Beatty