The term Metastatic Cancer may sound foreign to your ears. Metastasis can occur anywhere, either in the area where the cancer originated or far from where the cancer began.
The term metastasis means that the cancer has spread beyond the organ or tissue from where the cancer first appeared.
The spread of cancer cells to other body parts is affected by many things, such as the cancer types, the severity or stage of the cancer, and the location the cancer originated. The treatment depends on the cancer type and the location of its spread.
What is metastatic cancer mean?
Metastatic disease, also known as metastasis, is a disease related to cancer or a disease that spreads from one organ to another indirectly connected to the source of the disease. The newly infected cancer is called metastasis, which comes from a Greek word meaning “transfer.” Once the primary cancer metastasizes, the resulting tumor is called a secondary cancer. This condition may appear in all forms of cancer, including blood cancer and lymph cancer. Metastatic areas are common in the bones, liver, and lungs.
Metastatic Cancer Causes
Metastatatic disease develops when cancer cells pass through the blood vessels or lymphatic system, thus giving cancer cells a way to enter the blood circulation. This disease, known as intravasation or circulation diseases is the cause of two of the most common metastatic diseases formed from distant locations. However, if the location is close to the original source, the disease is caused by a local invasion.
The appearance of metastasis begins with cancer cells that break away from the original tumor, enter the lymphatic system or bloodstream, move to other parts of the body, and penetrate blood vessels or lymph nodes to enter new organs. Once it arrives, these cells grow depending on their location.
To begin its growth, these cells must withstand attacks from the immune system. If abnormal cells can pass through all these stages, then the abnormal cells will form a tumor. This means the possibility of metastasis formation depends on the condition of the sufferer, including the condition of the immune system at a secondary location. Thus, researchers who examine metastatic disease are not only trying to find new steps to treat the condition, but also steps that can interfere with the metastasis process.
Not all cancer cells that can move to other parts of the body causing this disease. Abnormal cells may fall asleep in secondary locations without growing. However, if a new tumor has appeared, the metastasizing cells will be the same composition as the original tumor cells. This means that even if lung cancer metastasizes to the breast, metastatic breast tumors will consist of malignant lung cells and will still be considered lung cancer rather than breast cancer.
While most cancers often metastasize to the bones, liver, and lungs, different types of primary cancer tend to metastasize in certain parts of the body. Here are the common types of cancer and common areas of metastasis:
- Breast Cancer – Brain
- Colon cancer – Peritoneum
- Kidneys – Brain, adrenal glands
- Lungs – Other lungs, brain, adrenal glands
- Melanoma – Brain, skin, muscles
- Ovaries – Peritoneum
- Pancreas – Peritoneum
- Pros**tate – Adrenal glands
- Stomach – Peritoneum
- Uterus – Peritoneum, vagi**na.
How metastasis cancer develops
There are three ways how metastasis develop in the body of cancer patients, namely:
- Metastasis develop when cancer cells break away from the original tumor. The cells will then spread to other areas by entering the bloodstream. Thus, cancer cells can also go to various organs in the body, even those that are far from the original tumor.
- Metastatic cells break away from the original tumor, then enter the lymphatic system and head to nearby lymph nodes or are carried to the lymph nodes away from the original organ.
- In addition to going through the bloodstream and lymphatic system, metastases can also grow directly into the tissues surrounding the tumor.
In its new nesting site, metastatic cancer cells will settle down and then grow as new tumors in different parts of the body’s organs from the original cancer.
Keep in mind that all types of cancer can spread. However, the speed of spread of metastatic cancer depends on several factors, such as the original type of cancer, the speed of cancer development, the patient’s immunity, and other factors.
When the cancer has spread to metastatic cancer, the symptoms cannot be determined with certainty. Symptoms of metastatic cancer depend on where the cancer develops. For example, if the cancer spreads and grows in the brain, then the symptoms are like brain cancer, namely headaches, speech disorders, and visual impairments.
When metastatic cancer grows in the liver, symptoms that appear are jaundice, fatigue, nausea, decreased appetite, and other symptoms related to liver disorders. There are times, a cancer sufferer is not even aware of the existence of cancer until the appearance of metastatic cancer.