One woman who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer made a video to educate others but without using any words, she changed the world. Holley Kitchen was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and she did not know what her diagnoses meant. This article is to carry on her educational efforts.
Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) means that it has spread to other parts of the body such as the bones, liver, lungs, or the brain. MBC has also been referred to as Stage IV or advanced. Sometimes metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed from the start. Being diagnosed with MBC can cause a wide range of emotional reactions. There is help by way of counseling and there are support groups for encouragement. There are different types of therapies including, hormone therapy, mTOR inhibitors, chemotherapy, anti-HER2/neu, radiation therapy, and surgery to treat metastatic breast cancer, but there is not yet a cure.
There are 13 Facts that Everyone Should Know About Metastatic Breast Cancer
1. Breast cancer that remains there is not fatal. When the cancer metastasis cancer cells move to other organs, which is life threatening.
2. Metastasis is the spreading of cancer to other organs such as bones, liver, lungs, or the brain. This is why this type of cancer is so dangerous.
3. An estimated 155,000 Americans have MBC. Metastatic breast cancer causes approximately 40,000 deaths in the U.S.
4. Treatment lasts the duration of a person’s life. The focus on treatment is to keep the cancer controlled and allow the person to have a better quality of life.
5. 6 to 10 percent of those diagnosed are at Stage IV or MBC from the start. Early detection is rare.
6. Early detection is not a guarantee that the cancer will be cured. Breast cancer can metastasis many years after the original diagnoses and successful treatment, regular checkups, and mammograms.
7. 20 to 30 percent of the people who are initially diagnosed in the early stages of breast cancer will develop metastatic breast cancer.
8. Anyone can get MBC, it does not matter the age or the sex. Young people and men can get metastatic breast cancer.
9. There are different types of MBC.
10. Treatment is determined by the type of breast cancer, the location is has spread to and the extent of the metastasis in the body, previous treatments, and other factors.
11. MBC does not automatically mean death. Most who have cancer throughout their body will pass on, but some will be able to live on for many years.
12. There are not any definitive prognostic statistics for MBC, every patient, and their disease is unique.
13. To learn more about MBC, there are many websites with helpful information.
Holley Kitchen is a mom from Texas. In 2012, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. She went through chemotherapy, radiation treatments and endured a double mastectomy. Then a year later during one of her check-ups, her doctor informed her that she had metastatic breast cancer, the breast cancer had moved on to her bones. Kitchen had no idea what metastatic breast cancer was, so she says the Lord told her to make a YouTube video to educate others who do not know. Her video plays Rachel Patten’s Fight Song while Kitchen does not say a word in her video but became the woman who changed the world and educates viewers about metastatic breast cancer.
By Jeanette Smith
6abc: Mom’s Powerful Message About Metastatic Breast Cancer Goes Viral
mbcn: 13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Metastatic Breast Cancer
Komen Foundation: Metastatic Breast Cancer
Photos courtesy of:
Al_HikesAZ’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Colin Charles’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License