Metastatic Cancer

Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body by way of the bloodstream. Metastatic cancer, or metastatic tumor, is one which has spread from the primary site of origin into a different area(s) of the body. Tumors formed from cells that have spread are called secondary tumors. Cancer may have spread to areas near the primary site, or to parts of the body that are farther away.

Cancer that has spread from the primary site to other places in the body is generally classified as advanced. When cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is called metastatic cancer. The liver, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones are common areas of spread or metastasis.

Treatment for metastatic cancer aims to slow the growth or spread of cancer. Typically, metastatic cancer requires systemic therapy, or medications given by mouth or injected into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Other treatments may include biological therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these.