Early Signs and Symptoms of Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer is a tumor which spreads from an initial site to different locations within the body. Cancer cells can spread to closer lymph nodes, tissues, and organs. This is how metastatic cancer occurs and it generally happens at stage IV of cancer. Metastatic cancer is identified by the primary cancer name. For example, breast cancer that has been spread to the lungs is called metastatic breast cancer. The cancer cells in the lungs will have the same features as that of breast cancer.
How it spreads
The disease is dangerous because of its ability to spread to different parts of the body. The cancer cell multiplies at the primary location and invades nearby tissues and moves through blood vessels or lymph nodes to the other parts. The most common parts where cancer is spread are the lungs, liver, and brain. Breast cancer is spread to the bone, brain, liver, or lung where it reflects the metastasis breast cancer signs.
Sign and symptoms of metastatic cancer
There are no early signs of metastatic cancer. However, when they do appear, they depend on the location of the tumor. Some of the most common symptoms that are related to the lungs, liver, brain, and bones are:
- Lungs – Individuals experience a chronic cough and breathlessness.
- Liver – Affected people may experience nausea, jaundice, and the possibility of an enlarged liver. This condition may also cause itchy skin, abdominal pain, or a loss of appetite.
- Bones – When it affects the bones, people experience severe pain and swelling in the bones and joints. Also, the bones may be susceptible to fractures.
- Brain – When cancer metastases to the brain, neurological disorders such as severe headaches, seizures, or vertigo may be considered as some of the symptoms. Individuals may also experience vision disturbance, nausea, or behavioral changes.
Metastasis breast cancer occurs after several years of primary cancer and may be diagnosed at the initial stage. There are no major metastatic breast cancer signs. Some common symptoms include:
- Severe pain in the breast and discharge from nipples
- One of the most common metastasis breast cancer signs is a lump or thickening on the breast and near the underarm
- It may cause pain in the bones and the bones may be vulnerable to fractures
The treatment is determined by whether the cancer is localized or metastasized. If cancer has metastasized, it increases the probability of a patient’s death. There are malignant cancers that kill persons with metastasis. Metastasized cancer can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy, hormone therapy, surgery, or a combination of these.