Cancer » Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer is a kind of cancer that has a tendency to spread. It may spread to adjacent organs as well as remote areas of the body depending upon the nature of cancerous cells and intensity of the disease. Many cancers belong to this type as the cancerous or malignant cells show a high tendency to spread to different areas of the body and form tumors in the infected areas. Metastatic tumor is a kind of tumor formed by the metastatic cells and the process is generally known as metastasis.
How the metastatic cancer originates?
Cancer of the metastatic cells is very dangerous as it spreads rapidly and impacts the overall functioning of various organs of the body and disturbs co-ordination between them. The organ in which the cancer develops initially is the origin of these malignant or cancerous cells and they spread to other organs at a later stage. Bloodstream and lymph nodes are the most common mediums used by these tumor cells to spread to distant organs. Metastasis is actually a Greek term for displacement. Hence, metastatic cells are the cells that show a typical characteristic of displacing or moving from one location to another.
Cancer due to metastasis progresses in a very systematic manner. In the preliminary stage, the infected or cancerous cells target a particular organ as their origin. They target the healthy tissues and live cells in the area and convert them into cancerous cells. In most of the cases, the malignant cells damage or kill tissues and prevent them from doing their routine work. Tissues are responsible for supplying blood and oxygen to various areas of the body. When they are attacked by the cancerous cells, the overall supply of blood and oxygen supply gets severely affected. This leads to hindrance in the normal cell-development process and makes such unhealthy cells more prone to the infection.
In the metastatic cancer, the cancerous cells force the live cells to grow uncontrollably and prevent them from dying naturally. This leads to the presence of excess number of cells in the body. These infected and unnecessary cells form groups and a lump is developed in that particular area. This lump is generally known as tumor and can be benign or cancerous. Benign tumors are generally harmless and do not indulge in damaging tissues or killing cells. They do not spread from one location to another and can be eliminated easily by surgery. Also, their chance of recurrence is rare. Cancerous tumors are the main trouble-makers and cause the maximum possible damage to the tissues. They not only damage and kill the healthy tissues and cells but also replace them by the cancerous cells and infect the area severely. They spread rapidly to other parts of the body and form separate tumors in the areas they invade. It is difficult to eliminate these cancerous cells completely and have high chances of recurrence even if treated in the past. Hence, the cancerous cells show the typical metastatic behavior.
Tumors can be primary or secondary in nature. Tumor that is formed in the original location of the cancerous cells is known as the primary tumor. Local metastasis is the process in which the tumors spread only to the adjacent areas. The tumors also spread to remote locations of the body and form separate tumors in those areas. Such tumors are known as secondary tumors. The cancerous cells may metastasize to any areas of the human body but they generally target the vital organs like the lungs, brain, liver and bones. The cells may also metastasize to skin, blood, lymph nodes or adrenal glands depending upon the immunity system of the victim.
Prevent metastatic cancer
Cancer by metastasis can be fatal if ignored or not treated in time. The cancer may originate in different organs gradually or simultaneously depending upon the pace of metastasis. Also, the severity of the disease may depend upon the location in which the cancerous cells originate. Lung cancer, breast cancer and blood cancer lead to maximum number of cancer deaths worldwide. Skin cancer and oral cancer are also severe forms of cancer and have a high potential to metastasize. Hence, a thorough diagnosis is necessary before opting for treatment to cure cancer by metastasis.
Smoking, excess consumption of alcohol and tobacco chewing makes you more prone to cancer by metastasis. These habits play a destructive role in killing active tissues and destroy your immunity system severely. They also put a bad impact on the generation of white blood cells (WBC) may also lead to abnormalities in the body's blood pressure. The main organs affected by smoking and excess alcohol consumption are lungs and liver. Hence, the cancerous cells may primarily develop in these organs and metastasize later.
Obesity is one of the indirect causes of cancer and may make you more prone to metastasis. You should avoid eating oily food and food high in fat contents. Balanced and hygienic diet is extremely important. Include vegetables, salads and fruits in your daily diet. Regular exercise can be very advantageous in keeping your immunity system intact. Do not consume medicines, especially anti-depressants and pain killers, without proper medical prescription.
Cancer by metastasis may or may not show direct symptoms but any irregularities in the body must be thoroughly diagnosed. Pain in the joints, breathing problems, difficulties in swallowing food, improper digestion of food, unexpected weight loss, considerable loss of appetite, frequent vomiting and fever are some of the early symptoms of various types of cancers caused by metastasis. Some may also suffer abdominal pains, back-pain or skin irritations.
Metastatic cancer is rarely curable as the process of metastasis occurs usually in the later stages of cancer. Many advanced techniques like X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan), endoscopy, computed tomography scan (CT scan), ultrasound, biopsy and positron emission tomography test (PET test) are used to examine the body internally. Understanding the nature and intensity of metastasis is necessary before opting for radiotherapy, surgery or chemotherapy.