comscoreCOVID-19 and Metastatic Breast Cancer

COVID-19 and Metastatic Breast Cancer

Shirley Mertz, founding member and current chair of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, talks about what it's like to live with metastatic disease during COVID-19.
Sep 17, 2020

In this podcast, Shirley Mertz talks about what it’s like to live with metastatic breast cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Listen to the podcast to hear Shirley discuss:

  • her personal journey with breast cancer

  • the ways in which the stresses of COVID-19 and metastatic breast cancer are similar

  • how people with metastatic disease are coping with treatment and scan delays

About the guest
Shirley Mertz headshot
Shirley Mertz

During her professional career, Shirley Mertz was a political science teacher and high school principal. Before her retirement, Shirley was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, 12 years after being diagnosed with early-stage disease. After receiving targeted treatment, Shirley experienced a durable remission. She decided in 2005 to use her skills and intellect to advocate for research to end deaths from metastatic breast cancer; to lobby for access to affordable, quality healthcare; and to empower metastatic patients to make informed healthcare decisions to have the best outcomes. In 2009, to spread knowledge about metastatic disease, Shirley organized and led a group of patients to Congress, asking for a resolution to designate October 13 as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The resolution passed unanimously.

In 2013, Shirley Mertz was a founding member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance and currently serves as its chairperson. She is also president of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, a patient advocate member of the Translational Breast Cancer Consortium and the AURORA USA clinical study, and a member of the board of directors of the Global Advanced Breast Cancer Alliance based in Lisbon. Shirley is often invited to speak at conferences about the challenges and needs of patients. Among her numerous awards, Shirley was honored at the White House in 2011 as a Champion of Change in Breast Cancer by President Obama.

— Last updated on June 29, 2022, 2:45 PM

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