Metastatic Cancer

Date :2018-12-18 Posted By : Admin

In a Twitter post in July 2018, Sonali Bendre revealed that she had been diagnosed with “high-grade cancer that has metastasized” So what is Metastatic Cancer? When cancer cells break away from the primary site where they were formed and spread to other parts through the lymphatic system and blood, it is known as metastasis. These cells which have broken away from the original tumour might lodge themselves in an area near the primary site or in distant parts of the body and form secondary tumours. Regional or Local Metastasis: When the cancer has spread to only nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Distant Metastasis: When the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is called distant metastasis. Common areas of metastasis are the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and bones. Cancer which has metastasised is still named after the organ or body part where it originated, so for example, if breast cancer has spread to the bones or liver or lungs, it will still be known as “metastatic breast cancer” not bone cancer or lung cancer. Treatment however remains the same as that for breast cancer but one that has metastasised. In some cases, when a patient is first diagnosed, it might be in later stages when the cancer had already spread and sometimes it becomes difficult to figure out where it started. In this case, it is referred to as cancer of unknown primary. Types of staging in a cancer diagnosis: Stage 0 means there’s no cancer, only abnormal cells with potential to become cancer. Stage I is called Early Stage cancer and in this case the tumour is small and localised in one area. Stage II and III means the tumour/cancer is larger and has invaded the nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Stage IV is an advanced stage when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and it’s called metastatic cancer. noun_Subway Tiles_509713 What does high grade cancer mean? Grades are used to describe the appearance of cancer cells. The grade is a measure of how abnormal the cancer looks under a microscope. This is also known as differentiation. Well Differentiated or grade 1: the cancer cells look normal and are slower growing. Moderately Differentiated or grade 2: these are medium grade cancer cells that don’t resemble normal cells and grow faster than normal cells. Poorly Differentiated grade 3 or high grade cancer cells look abnormal and may grow more aggressively. Metastatic cancer may or may not cause symptoms. In Sonali Bendre’s case, a “niggling pain” led her to seek a doctors opinion. Other symptoms might include the following. noun_Symptom_1693803 Some common signs of metastatic cancer: Pain and fractures, when cancer has spread to the bone. Headache, seizures, or dizziness, when cancer has spread to the brain. Shortness of breath, when cancer has spread to the lung. Jaundice or swelling in the belly, when cancer has spread to the liver. Vision problems. Treatment of Metastatic Cancer The treatment of metastatic cancer depends on the origin of cancer, where it is currently located and how much it has spread. Treatment includes Systemic therapy like chemotherapy and hormone therapy. While local therapy means treatment for an area of cancer and includes Radiation therapy. A person’s age and health are also important factors in the choice of treatment. In some cases, a combination of therapies may be done. In cases where there is limited disease, both primary and metastatic, there are new approaches including surgery and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Read more about treatment options for metastatic breast cancer:

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