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Thread: Metastatic Carcinoma Pictures - Atlas of Colon and Ileum

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    Default Metastatic Carcinoma Pictures - Atlas of Colon and Ileum

    What is metastatic cancer?
    Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from the place where it first started to another place in the body. A tumor formed by metastatic cancer cells is called a metastatic tumor or a metastasis. The process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body is also called metastasis.

    Metastatic cancer has the same name and the same type of cancer cells as the original, or primary, cancer. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the lung and forms a metastatic tumor is metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer.

    Under a microscope, metastatic cancer cells generally look the same as cells of the original cancer. Moreover, metastatic cancer cells and cells of the original cancer usually have some molecular features in common, such as the expression of certain proteins or the presence of specific chromosome changes.

    Although some types of metastatic cancer can be cured with current treatments, most cannot. Nevertheless, treatments are available for all patients with metastatic cancer. In general, the primary goal of these treatments is to control the growth of the cancer or to relieve symptoms caused by it. In some cases, metastatic cancer treatments may help prolong life. However, most people who die of cancer die of metastatic disease.
    Metastatic Carcinoma Pictures Atlas Colon attachment.php?s=c788ed5dddd0ec6417e50e3c405d82ed&attachmentid=2052&d=1442180702

    Can any type of cancer form a metastatic tumor?
    Virtually all cancers, including cancers of the blood and the lymphatic system (leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma), can form metastatic tumors. Although rare, the metastasis of blood and lymphatic system cancers to the lung, heart, central nervous system, and other tissues has been reported.

    Does metastatic cancer have symptoms?
    Some people with metastatic tumors do not have symptoms. Their metastases are found by x-rays or other tests.

    When symptoms of metastatic cancer occur, the type and frequency of the symptoms will depend on the size and location of the metastasis. For example, cancer that spreads to the bone is likely to cause pain and can lead to bone fractures. Cancer that spreads to the brain can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches, seizures, and unsteadiness. Shortness of breath may be a sign of lung metastasis. Abdominal swelling or jaundice (yellowing of the skin) can indicate that cancer has spread to the liver.

    Sometimes a person’s original cancer is discovered only after a metastatic tumor causes symptoms. For example, a man whose prostate cancer has spread to the bones in his pelvis may have lower back pain (caused by the cancer in his bones) before he experiences any symptoms from the original tumor in his prostate.

    Can someone have a metastatic tumor without having a primary cancer?
    No. A metastatic tumor is always caused by cancer cells from another part of the body.

    In most cases, when a metastatic tumor is found first, the primary cancer can also be found. The search for the primary cancer may involve lab tests, x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and other procedures.

    However, in some patients, a metastatic tumor is diagnosed but the primary tumor cannot be found, despite extensive tests, because it either is too small or has completely regressed. The pathologist knows that the diagnosed tumor is a metastasis because the cells do not look like those of the organ or tissue in which the tumor was found. Doctors refer to the primary cancer as unknown or occult (hidden), and the patient is said to have cancer of unknown primary origin (CUP).

    What treatments are used for metastatic cancer?
    Metastatic cancer may be treated with systemic therapy (chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, hormonal therapy), local therapy (surgery, radiation therapy), or a combination of these treatments. The choice of treatment generally depends on the type of primary cancer; the size, location, and number of metastatic tumors; the patient’s age and general health; and the types of treatment the patient has had in the past. In patients with CUP, it is possible to treat the disease even though the primary cancer has not been found.
    Metastatic Carcinoma Pictures Atlas Colon attachment.php?s=c788ed5dddd0ec6417e50e3c405d82ed&attachmentid=2053&d=1442180721

    Are new treatments for metastatic cancer being developed?
    Yes, researchers are studying new ways to kill or stop the growth of primary cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells, including new ways to boost the strength of immune responses against tumors. In addition, researchers are trying to find ways to disrupt individual steps in the metastatic process.

    Before any new treatment can be made widely available to patients, it must be studied in clinical trials (research studies) and found to be safe and effective in treating disease. NCI and many other organizations sponsor clinical trials that take place at hospitals, universities, medical schools, and cancer centers around the country. Clinical trials are a critical step in improving cancer care. The results of previous clinical trials have led to progress not only in the treatment of cancer but also in the detection, diagnosis, and prevention of the disease. Patients interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor.

    What is metastatic cancer?
    Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body. When cancer cells break away from a tumor, they can travel to other areas of the body through the bloodstream or the lymph system (which contains a collection of vessels that carry fluid and immune system cells).

    This image shows some parts of the lymph system, like lymph nodes and lymph vessels, as well as organs and tissues that contain many lymphocytes (immune cells)

    Why cancer cells tend to spread to certain parts of the body
    Where a cancer starts often plays a role in where it will spread. Most cancer cells that break free from the original tumor are carried in the blood or lymph until they get trapped in the next “downstream” organ or set of lymph nodes. Once the cells are there, they can start new tumors. This explains why breast cancer often spreads to underarm lymph nodes, but rarely to lymph nodes in the groin. Likewise, there are many cancers that commonly spread to the lungs. This is because the heart pumps blood from the rest of the body through the lungs’ blood vessels before sending it elsewhere. The liver is a common site of spread for cancer cells that start in the colon because blood from the intestines flows into the liver.

    Cancer cells often break away from the main (primary) tumor and travel through the blood and/or lymph system, but they don’t always settle in and start new tumors. Most of the time, the cells that broke away die. When cancer does spread to other organs and start to form new tumors, it’s because of certain genetic changes in the cells that scientists are now starting to understand. Someday, doctors may be able to tell if a person’s cancer is the type that will spread to other organs by looking for these genetic changes. Research is also focusing on treatments that block or target these genetic changes so the cancer cells can’t spread and grow.
    Metastatic Carcinoma Pictures Atlas Colon attachment.php?s=c788ed5dddd0ec6417e50e3c405d82ed&attachmentid=2054&d=1442180772

    Sometimes the patterns of spread cannot be explained by where things are in the body. Some cancer cells are able to find and invade certain sites far away from where they started. For example, advanced prostate cancer often moves into the bones before spreading to other organs. This “homing” pattern may be caused by substances on the cancer cell surfaces that stick to cells in certain organs.

    References:
    http://www.cancer.org/treatment/unde...-is-metastatic
    Metastatic Cancer Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute











    Last edited by Medical Photos; 09-13-2015 at 09:46 PM.

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