What is metastasis in cancer?

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What is metastasis in cancer?

QuestionsCategory: cancerWhat is metastasis in cancer?
Chaithanya asked 7 months ago
What is metastasis in cancer?

1 Answers
Dr. Bommu Venkateshwara Reddy Staff answered 6 months ago
Metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original location to different body parts. When doctors detect cancer in a new area, they say it has "metastasized."   Terminology: Metastatic, Advanced, and Stage 4 Cancer   The terms "metastatic cancer," "advanced cancer," and "stage 4 cancer" frequently describe metastasis, but they can have slightly different meanings."Advanced cancer" might also relate to large cancers that have not spread. However, your doctor can clarify how they apply to your situation If you are doubtful about these terms.   How Metastases Develop   In most cases, cancer cells break down from the primary tumor and form the plural metastasis known as metastases. These cells can move into the bloodstream or lymphatic system, carrying the body fluids. It enables the cancerous cells to move away from the primary tumor and develop into secondary or metastatic ones in other organs of the affected individuals.   Factors Influencing Metastasis   Whether cancer spreads depends on several factors, including the cancer type, its growth rate, and other specific behaviors of the cancer cells.   Common Sites for Cancer Spread   Cancer can metastasize to nearly any body part. Still, certain cancers tend to spread to specific areas:  
  • Oftentimes, breast cancer will metastasize in bones, liver, lungs, chest walls or the brain.
  • With a notable exception that lung cancer usually spreads to the brain, bones, liver, and adrenal glands.
  • Prostate cancer frequently spreads to the bones.
  • Colon and rectal cancers typically metastasize to the liver and lungs.
  Cancer can spread to the skin, muscle, or other organs less generally. It can also affect the pleural depression around the lungs( leading to malignant pleural effusion) or the peritoneal cavity around the abdomen( resulting in malignant ascites).   Is Metastatic Cancer the Same as the Original?   Yes, metastatic cancer retains the characteristics of the original cancer. For case, breast cancer that spreads to the liver is still called metastatic breast cancer, not liver cancer. This is because the cancer began in the breast, and treatment targets breast cancer.   Diagnosing Metastasis   Some people have metastases at their initial cancer diagnosis, found during initial tests. Others may be diagnosed with metastatic cancer after completing treatment for non-metastatic cancer. Regular check-ups post-treatment aim to detect any signs of cancer recurrence. If cancer returns and spreads to a new body part, it's known as a metastatic or distant recurrence.   Symptoms of Metastasis   Metastatic cancer might not always cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they vary based on where the cancer has spread:  
  • To the Bone: Symptoms involve abdominal pain, fractures, bowel and bladder impairments, lower levels of skeletal muscles, and hypercalcemia.
  • To the Brain: These include, but not limited to, headaches, seizures, dizziness, muscle weakness, impairment of coordinated movements such as balance and vision, nausea, and sometimes alter in brain functions characterized by personality changes, memory loss, and so on.
  • To the Liver: These include appetite loss, fatigue, fever, jaundice, bloating, and leg swelling.
  • To the Lungs: These manifest in coughing (sometimes with blood) chest pain, breathing problems and water on the lungs.
  In case some of these signs occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible. These symptoms may suggest metastasis or other illnesses and their team will administer some tests to establish the cause and effective management approach.

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