What is Metastatic Cancer

What is Metastatic Cancer


– Metastatic Cancer: definition

– Causes of Metastatic Cancer

– Diagnosis of Metastatic Cancer

– Prognosis for Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic Cancer is cancer that has metastasized from the original tumor to other parts of the body. In other words, several organs are affected by cancer. The patient’s life prognosis is then largely committed.

Metastatic Cancer: definition

When cancer has spread from its origin to other parts of the body (other organs and distant lymph nodes), it is called Metastatic Cancer or metastatic cancer.

For example, kidney cancer can spread and form other tumors in the bones. The tumors that form are of the exact nature as the primary tumors (for example, with kidney cancer cells, it will be metastatic kidney cancer).

The generalization of cancer frequently passes by metastatic attacks:

– bones;

– Lungs

– of the liver;

– with tumors in the brain.

However, any other part of the body can be affected.

Causes of Metastatic Cancers

Any malignant tumor is likely to spread to the rest of the body. What makes the difference between those that will spread and cause widespread cancer and those that will not is:

– The type of cancer with the most at risk is:

◦ breast cancers;

◦ colon and rectal cancers (which can spread throughout the body and preferentially to bones, liver, lung, or brain);

◦ lung cancer (which typically spreads to the brain, liver, and bone);

◦ prostate cancer (which will often metastasize to the bone);

– The stage of cancer:

◦ the lower the stage, the less aggressive cancer;

◦ the higher the stage, the more likely the cancer is to develop metastases;

– the age of the tumor since the older cancer, the greater the risk of metastasis;

– cancer cells’ ability to establish a vascular network that will allow the tumor to grow and the speed of its spread by an invasion of the basal membrane of blood vessels before dissemination.

Diagnosis of Metastatic Cancers


In the case of Metastatic Cancer, there are usually one or more warning signs. Indeed, various symptoms appear, sometimes at the level of metastasis, before appearing at the level of the primary tumor. Some metastatic cancers are detected without their origin being known. This is called an unknown primary cancer.

Several tests must then be conducted to make the diagnosis of this cancer. These include:

– A complete physical examination;

– Biological tests, including the measurement of tumor markers;

– a biopsy (tissue sample to determine whether or not the tumor is metastatic)

– medical imaging tests:

◦ bone scan;

◦ CT scan;

◦ ultrasound;

◦ chest x-ray;

– To staging of cancer (its stage is determined).

Prognosis in Metastatic Cancer

The prognosis for Metastatic Cancer is very guarded. Nevertheless, it depends on many factors that can vary enormously:

– the results of the various medical examinations and the stage of cancer in particular;

– the medical and family history;

– the chosen treatment;

– the reaction of the body to the treatment.

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