Do you know what is metastasis? Metastasis is the movement or spread of cancer cells from one organ or tissue to organ or other networks. The cancer cells usually spread through the blood or lymph nodes. The spread of this cancer can occur anywhere, either at in tissues, to nearby organs or distant organs.
The term metastasis means that the cancer has spread beyond its initial location. Whether the cancer cells spread to other parts of the body depends on many things, such as the type of cancer, the stage of cancer (stadium), and the location where the cancer originated. Treatment also depends on the type of cancer and the location in the spread.
Stages of Spread of Cancer
You need to know that cancer cells can spread locally by moving to the nearest healthy tissue. Cancer can also spread regionally, ie to the lymph nodes, tissues, or surrounding organs. In addition, cancer can also spread to distant parts of the body.
Cancer cells spread through the body in a series of stages, including:
- Growing in or attacking healthy tissue nearby.
- Move through the walls of nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels.
- Moves toward the lymph flow system and blood to other parts of the body.
- Then, stop in a small blood vessel in a distant place, attack and penetrate the blood vessel wall, then move to the surrounding tissue.
- It grows in the tissue until small tumors are formed.
- After that, cause new blood vessels to grow, which creates a blood supply that allows the tumor to continue growing.
Cancer can spread to any part of the body depending on where the tumor originated from. However, some places that usually have metastases are bone, liver or liver, lungs, brain, peritoneum or abdominal cavity, adrenal glands, and vagina.
Cancer that has spread or metastasize will become metastatic cancer. Metastatic cancer does not always cause symptoms. When symptoms occur, the type and frequency will depend on the size and location of the spread of the tumor.
Some common signs of metastatic cancer are pain and fractures when the cancer has invaded the bone; headaches, convulsions, or dizziness when the cancer has spread to the brain; shortness of breath when the cancer has spread to the lungs; jaundice or swelling in the abdomen when the cancer has spread to the liver.
If you have cancer, the thing to watch out for is the stage of cancer. Staging refers to the severity of your cancer, such as how large the tumor is, and has spread or not. Knowing your cancer stages can help your doctor understand how severe cancer and life opportunities you have to plan the best treatment for you. In addition, the stage of cancer can identify clinical trials that may be the treatment option for you.
Typically, doctors use the TNM system to find out the stages in your cancer. Here’s the explanation:
- T refers to the size and extent of the main tumor. The main tumor is usually called the primary tumor.
- N refers to the number of nearby lymph nodes that have cancer.
- M refers to whether the cancer has metastasized or not. If it is, then the cancer has spread from the primary tumor to other body parts. In this state, the cancer has been said to enter in stage 4.
Spread Cancer is Difficult to Treat
As soon as the cancer spreads, it will be difficult to control. Although some types of metastatic cancer can be cured with some current treatments, most can not be cured.
The treatment aims to stop or slow the growth of cancer, to relieve the symptoms that result, and can also help extend the life of the patient.
Treatment depends on your primary cancer type, the location of the spread, the treatments you have done before, and how your current health condition is. The treatment and treatment include chemotherapy and other therapies such as radiation therapy, surgical procedures, and ablation.
After knowing that metastasis is spreading cancer to other organs or tissues, there are some things you can do as a precaution, for example:
- Eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoiding behaviors that are at risk of illness, such as having free sex or sharing a syringe
- Routine medical examination periodically to detect cancer early on.
It is important to know that the earlier the cancer is detected, the greater the chance of treatment success. Life expectancy opportunities are also higher than if cancer metastases have occurred or the cancer has reached its end-stage. For that, you can carry out periodic medical checks with your doctor and undergo a number of checks for early cancer detection .