Supporting Kenyan women with advanced breast cancer through a network and assessing their needs and quality of life

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa); Pathology (East Africa)


Introduction: Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients have several unmet needs. The needs and quality of life of MBC women living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are understudied. Facilitating the interaction of various caregivers is beneficial in addressing the needs. Internet-based resources play an important role in reaching out to these patients. We aimed to bring the various stakeholders into a joint network force, create a web-based portal, understand the needs of MBC patients, and assess the utilization of web-based resources for women from Kenya.

Methods: A network of various stakeholders considered crucial in the care of Kenyan women with MBC was created. We conducted educational camps and assessed their needs, quality of life (QoL), and knowledge. We assessed the impact of utilizing web-based resources by MBC patients from here.

Results: We formed a network involving partners and launched the first dedicated website for MBC from Kenya. The website has received 13,944 visits and 310,379 hits in 2 years. One hundred fourteen women living with MBC were interviewed, and our findings show that psychological needs (63%), physical support needs (60%), and health care system needs (55%) are leading areas of needs that increase with rural residence (p = 0.001), less education (p = 0.003), and aggressive treatments (p = 0.008). Quality of life (QoL) confirmed better scores with urban residence (p = 0.002), internet access (p = 0.010), and stable disease (p = 0.042).

Conclusions: Creating a network of caregivers provides opportunities for cohesive efforts in understanding the psychosocial and medical needs of patients with MBC. Internet-based resources are an effective way of reaching out to them. Kenyan patients show extremely good uptake of internet-based resources.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Supportive Care in Cancer