Metastasis are the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer. When this happens, it’s called metastatic cancer, advanced cancer or Stage IV cancer. This means that the cancer cells can travel far from the original tumor and form new tumors when they settle and grow in a different part of the body.

Metastatic tumors (metastases) can occur in three ways:

  1. They can grow directly into the tissue surrounding the tumor;
  2. Cancer cells can travel through your bloodstream to distant locations in your body; 
  3. Cancer cells can travel through your lymph system to nearby or distant lymph nodes.

The cure for metastasis is one of the main challenges for cancer treatment, because each type of metastasis will demand specific treatments that influence the patient’s recovery. If found early, metastasis may undergo systemic therapy such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biologic therapy. Other forms of treatment for metastasis are radiotherapy, surgery or a combination of these types of procedures, depending on each case and the level of evolution of the cells. The location of metastases depends on the type of primary cancer – the most common sites are the bones, liver, and lung.Identifying the symptoms of metastasis can be very important to limit this proliferation, but it is not an easy task, as the symptoms depend on which part of the body is affected.

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