About Metastatic Cancer Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
This refers to cancer that has spread from the place where it was initially diagnosed to other areas of the body. Metastatic cancer inherits the name and the cells of original cancer. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the lungs and in the process forming a metastatic tumor is called a metastatic breast cancer and not lung cancer. A metastatic tumor is one formed by metastatic cancer cells. Metastasis refers to the process where cancer cells spread to other areas of the body.
The majority of metastatic cancer cannot be cured with current medications and treatment techniques. However, doctors have devised treatments to control the growth of cancer and relieve symptoms in order to prolong the life of the affected.How does metastatic cancer spread?
When cancer cells undergo metastasis, it usually involves the following steps:
- Local invasion – cancer invades the normal tissue
- Intravasation – the cancer move through the walls of nearby lymph nodes
- Circulation – Move through the lymphatic system and the bloodstreams to other areas of the body
- Arrest and extravasation – the cancer cells stop moving and invade the walls of the capillaries and migrate into the surrounding tissue
- Proliferation – The cells multiply at another area of the body and form small tumors
- Angiogenesis – The small tumors formed to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels to obtain a blood supply necessary for tumor growth.
Not all the above steps will be required in order for metastasis to occur.Symptoms of metastatic cancer
Not all people with metastatic cancer have symptoms. Their metastases are usually found by the use of imaging tests. The frequency of symptoms in metastatic cancer depends and varies on the size and location of the metastasis.Diagnosing Metastatic cancer
Cancer that has spread to other areas of the body is usually considered advanced. In order to diagnose cancer, diagnostic tests must be performed. Diagnostic tests involve tests and procedures that:
- Confirm the presence of the disease
- Identify the type of tumor
- Determine the location, extent, and stage of the cancer
Some common diagnostic tests include:
- Reviewing the patient health history
- Subjecting the patient to physical examinations
- Performing laboratory tests on the blood and urine
- Performing a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis
- Performing all the required imaging tests such as (X-rays, MRI scans, Ultrasound, PET/CT scans.
- Performing genetic tests
Before treatment, the doctors will need to accurately locate the tumors and determine the right stage of the disease so as to formulate a relevant treatment plan that will most benefit the patient.Treatment
Tumor molecular profiling will be used to identify the right therapy drugs required before treatment, which reduces unrequired toxicity and helps to identify the appropriate treatment approach. Treatment of metastatic cancer aims to reduce/control the spread of cancer.
Metastatic cancer may be treated with:
- Systemic therapy
- Biological therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Hormonal therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Track the size and the spread of the tumor
- Track the Progression of the disease
- Determine the patient's response to treatment and modify the treatment accordingly
After treatment, you will be required to follow up with the doctors to follow up on any symptoms that you may have.
Learn more about Metastatic Cancer