Young Breast Cancer Survivors Program Educates Survivors and Caregivers

In 2019, CDC funded eight organizations for 5 years to provide structured support services and resources for young breast cancer survivors (YBCS) and metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. These services and resources are designed to increase their survival and improve their quality of life. These organizations also provide educational resources for health care providers who serve this population.

Programs educated YBCS, their caregivers, and health care providers by—

  • Conducting a needs assessment that identified gaps in support services, educational content, and dissemination methods for YBCS and young women with MBC.
  • Developing educational resources about health behaviors.
  • Using mobile applications, social media, and videos to provide support and disseminate health messages to YBCS.

Progress Toward Outcomes

Award Recipients Conducted Needs Assessments

Award recipients identified gaps in support services, education, and informational content.

  • Award recipients used needs assessment data to expand educational content.
  • Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) wrote 12 blog posts based on needs assessment data.

Award Recipients Helped Close the Resource Gap

Award recipients expanded content regarding medical, psychosocial, and health issues of YBCS and MBC patients.

  • Breast Cancer Resource Center made more than 850 social media posts, which received nearly 8,600 comments.
  • Breast Cancer Resource Center also facilitated 11 online support groups to provide a supportive environment for sharing.
  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer sends text messages regularly about its new resources and programs for young women.

Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation


  • Formative research such as an environmental scan, needs assessment, and other data helped inform program planning and activities.
  • Technology, such as social media and mobile applications, allowed award recipients to reach priority populations.


  • Award recipients had trouble recruiting women in priority populations such as people who are medically underserved and Jewish YBCS to participate.

Barriers Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • No in-person activities could take place.
  • Staff were assigned to other activities.
  • Project partners and health care infrastructure were strained.
  • Access to health care providers was limited and recruitment was low.

Program Spotlights

Developing New Content to Address Effects of COVID-19

Starting in March 2020, Living Beyond Breast Cancer developed five new web pages that helped YBCS navigate the effects of COVID-19.

Strategic Communication Planning

University of Illinois developed a detailed plan for effective communication. The plan included populations of focus; existing, adapted, or new content sources; outreach channels such as podcasts, blogs, and social media; and metrics to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.

Partnering with Social Media Influencers

Sharsheret worked with an advertising agency to identify social media influencers focused on healthy living. Sharsheret joined forces with them to share information about its peer support network.

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