What is Metastatic Cancer?
Metastatic cancer is a type of a cancer which spreads to a body part from another body part where it had initially started. The tumor which is formed as a result of metastatic cancer is called metastatic tumor. This tumor is also known as metastasis.
In fact the process through which the cancer cells tend to spread from one part to another is also termed as metastasis. Metastatic cancer cells look identical to the cells of the original cancer and some of their molecular features too are common.
The following are some of the most important things to know about metastatic cancer:
1. It is important to know that some of the people who have metastatic cancer or tumor show no symptoms at all. The metastasis is thus only found out through X ray and other kinds of test. The type and the symptom of the metastatic cancer depend upon the location and the size of the metastasis.
2. Some of the types of metastatic cancer can be cured with the current treatment methods available but most of the cancer types cannot be cured at all. Treatments sure are available for people with any kind of a metastatic cancer but this doesn’t necessarily ensure cure.
3. All kinds of cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, blood cancer and multiple myeloma can form metastatic cancers and this is another fact important to know about metastatic cancer.
4. It is important to know that if cancer spreads from these types of original cancers, then it can spread to heart, lung, central nervous system, heart and even some of the other tissues.
5. Some of the common sites for spreading of metastatic cancer are liver, bone and lungs.
6. Metastasis is a dangerous disease and most of the cancer deaths are caused due to the spreading of cancer from the original site to another site. In fact it is a fact that people who have localized cancer have a better chance of surviving than those who have metastatic cancer.
7. To determine whether the cancer is metastatic cancer or localized cancer, doctors examine a sample of the cancer/tumor under a microscope and use specialized type of diagnostic tools to tell where the cancer cell came from. Antigens or markers found on the cancer cells or in the cancer cells can tell about the primary site of the cancer.
8. Some of the methods which are used to treat metastatic cancer are radiation therapy, chemotherapy and biological therapy. Some other ways to cure it are hormone therapy, biological therapy, cryosurgery and other types of surgery. The choice of the treatment method depends upon the type of the original or primary cancer. The treatment may also depend upon the size of the cancer and the location of the metastasis. Some of the other factors which have to be taken into account are age of the patient, general health of the patient, and all the types of treatments that the patient has undergone in the past.