Metastatic Breast Cancer and the Woman Who Changed the World Without a Word

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Metastatic Breast CancerOne 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.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy is the first option for MBC that is estrogen receptor-positive (ER+). There are fewer side effects with this type of therapy. The goal of hormone therapy is to reduce the size of the tumors. Also, there are several different hormones to choose from so if one has been tried before the patient might be able to try a different hormone.

mTOR inhibitors

mTOR inhibitors are special therapy drugs that increase the effectiveness of the hormone therapy. This is in order to control the MBC and possibly prevent it from metastasizing further.


Chemotherapy is the first option when hormone therapy cannot be used. Chemotherapy has the capability to reduce the size of tumors faster than hormone therapy. There are many chemotherapy drugs so if one stops working, there are other drug options available. It is common for a patient to have several different rounds of chemotherapy throughout the course of treatment.

Anti-HER2/neu Therapies

This therapy is targeted for HER2/neu types of MBC. These therapies target tumors with high amounts of proteins called HER2/neu on the outside of their cells. Anti-HER2/neu targets those specific cells.


Radiation is primarily used for breast cancer that has metastasized to the bones. It helps a lot with the pain as well.


Surgery is rare with MBC as it has spread to another part of the body. This fact makes it more difficult to remove.
Metastatic Breast Cancer
One woman with metastatic breast cancer made a video, in which she does not say a word, in hopes that she could change the world and the lives of those who may be at risk, in the future. Sources state that awareness is one of the best tools, and there are many facts about metastatic breast cancer that everyone, especially women should know.

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