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Cancer metastasis

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Cancer metastasis is the one in which its spreads from the site of origin to the distinct places of the body. They normally invade through the following steps:

1. Growing and invading through the surrounding tissue.

2. Thin-walled venules like lymphatic channels offers low resistance to tumor cell penetration and serve as a common entrance point for tumor cell directly into the circulation.

3. Tumor cells while directly getting into the circulation goes to the bed of the organ. this process is completed by direct proliferation into the organ parenchyma.

4. Then tumor cells survive into the circulation and adhere to the small capillaries and arteries.

5. The presence of tumor cells does not imply directly the metastasis because most of the cells would die directly.


Carcinomas generally spread through the lymphatic system and mesenchymal tumors spread primarily through the circulation. The lymphatic and circulatory system are interconnected extensively and allows the spreading of the tumor from one system to another. Tumor cells can easily enter small lymphatic arteries and passively drain into the lymph node to develop distant metastasis. The main mechanism of cancer invasion in bone is through, cancer cells disseminate from the primary tumor and enter the circulation forming the metastatic niche and remain the microenvironment stimulating osteoclastic activity. osteoclastic bone reabsorption causes the release of sequestered growth factors, which leads to an increase in tumor growth.

Tumors that spread from the cell are called secondary tumors and spread to the different parts farther away are called distant metastasis.

symptoms associated with metastatic cancer are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fracture
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness ( brain tumor)
  • Jaundice (LIver metastasis)
  • Weight loss, nausea, vomiting( breast cancer)
  • Urinary incontinence, bone pain, weakness in legs ( Bone metastasis)


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Nishi Sheth

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