Metastatic Cancer Early Signs

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Metastasis is the advanced stage of cancer, when the cancerous tumor gets spread into the distant lymph nodes and organs. Most cancers do not show the symptoms of their presence in the initial stages, they tend to show them at the metastases. Some patients with metastatic tumors do not develop any signs or symptoms. Their metastases are detected during any medical test like X-rays or other examinations. Most of the times, the metastatic cancer early signs resembles the symptoms of some other disease which is less serious and hence, remains undetected.

Factors that contributes to the metastatic cancer:

In most cases, the type and frequency of the metastatic cancer early signs depends on the location and size of the metastases. For example, a cancerous tumor that spreads into the bones usually causes pain and then lead to fractures in the bone. Cancerous tumor that spreads in the brain may give rise to variety of symptoms such as unsteadiness, seizures and headaches. Jaundice (skin becomes yellowish) or abdominal pain with swelling may indicate the spread of cancer into the liver, while shortness of breath may be an early sign of metastases in lung cancer.

Sometimes, the presence of cancerous tumors in a person's body is discovered only after the metastases of the cancer shows the symptoms. For example, if the prostate cancer in a man spreads into the bones of his pelvic girdle, he may experience pain in the lower (caused due to the presence of cancer cells into the bones) before experiencing any other indications from the original site of the tumor (tumor in the prostate). As the cancer keeps on spreading, your body starts to show variety of symptoms related to various organs where the cancer cells have spread.

Metastatic cancer early signs in different organs

Metastatic breast cancer:

As the cancer develops, the patient may observe some noticeable changes such as change in the breast size and shape. The feel of the breast also changes.

When the tumor metastases into the breast the patient may develop following metastatic cancer early signs:

  • Presence of new lump within the breast or in the armpit (under the arm )
  • The size and shape of the breast changes noticeably
  • The lump in the breast keeps on developing and thus the shape and size of the lump also changes
  • Presence of irritation and dimpling in the breast skin
  • Swollen red areas with flaky breast skin
  • Chronic pain in any part of the breast. Paining nipples is the most common indication of the breast cancer.
  • Tenderness in the nipples if touched or inverted nipples
  • Abnormal white discharge from the nipples

Symptoms that can be observed from a mammogram involve:

Lump in the breast that is developed due to the collective formation of tumors. This dense mass can be felt when touched; it is whiter than the adjoining abnormal tissues.

How cancer cells appear in the Breast microcalcifications? Presence of small lines or clusters of calcium that indicates an increase in the cell activity within the tissues of the breast can be seen.

Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer

Presence of metastases in the breast is the most complex stage of the breast cancer. In this advanced stage, the cancer cells get spread from the breast towards the lymph nodes present under the arms or in the arm pit and then travels into the other body structures of organs through bloodstream or the lymphatic system.

When the breast cancer spreads into the other body organs, the metastatic cancer early signs during this condition may vary as per the part in which the cancer has metastasized.

Brain metastases - When the breast cancer metastases in the brain, the patient may experience severe headaches, fatigue and neurological pain.

Bone metastases - Metastatic cancer early signs in this case can be pain and fractures in the bone without any injury.

Liver metastases - In this type of metastatic cancer, the patient may undergo a noticeable fall in appetite which results into unintentional weight loss.

Lung metastases - When the breast cancer metastasizes in the lungs, shortness of breath can be experienced.

When the lung cancer metastasizes into the bones a person may experience excruciating pain at the locations where the cancer is developing in the bones. When the cancer spreads into the brain the patient will undergo weakness, severe headache, blurred vision, seizures, and loss of sensation in some body parts.

With all the above mentioned examples, it can be said that the metastatic cancer early signs varies as per the location of the cancer spread. The location, at which the cancer cells have spread, shows the abnormalities which indicate presence of cancer cells.

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