Cancer is a scary word. But when you know all the facts, knowledge and understanding can reduce the fear. Find out everything you need to know about cancer and its effects...

Metastatic Cancer

When a person is suffering from cancer, there are chances that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body, if it isn’t treated on time. When this happens, it is referred to as metastatic cancer.  A cancer is a group of abnormal cells, which at times can break away from the main mass and travel to other parts of the human body. It’s actually quite common for a patient who is suffering from stomach cancer, to suddenly develop lung cancer. The abnormal cells usually travel through the bloodstream or through the lymph system. This system is basically a group of vessels that transport fluid and cells of the immune system.

Common Symptoms

When a patient is already suffering from one type of cancer, and later develops metastatic cancer, there may not always be symptoms to alert the person of the change. When it comes to medical practitioners, they tend to refer to the tumor by the original cancer name. For example, if a patient first suffers from throat cancer, and later develops lung cancer, then the doctor will refer to it as metastatic throat cancer to the lungs. The symptoms will depend on the area that the tumor is affecting. Some types of cancers might not even show any type of additional symptoms. Nonetheless, doctors may order diagnostic testing by taking blood samples of the patient. In addition, if there are suspicious tumors or symptoms, the doctor may order a biopsy in order to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant.

Metastatic Bone Disease in Breast Cancer

Every year there are around 9,000 breast cancer-suffering women in the UK that end up developing bone metastases. Bone metastases is a form of metastatic cancer that affects the bones directly. They tend to originate from epithelial tumors and can cause excruciating pain. Unfortunately, women who suffer from bone metastatic cancer developing after breast cancerare likely to live about two years after the diagnosis. A small portion of these women are capable of living up to five years, if they receive constant palliative treatment. Some of the complications associated with this type of metastatic cancer are:

  • Spinal instability – Lead to the incapability of having control of the body’s reaction to stress or physical loads
  • Marrow suppression – Also an effect of undergoing chemotherapy
  • Hypercalcaemia – High levels of calcium
  • Pathological fracture – Fracture due to weak bones

Ask Your DoctorAbout Clinical Trials

If you, or your relatives,are cancer patients, there are things you ought to have in mind to ask your GP. As you may already know, medical researchers are constantly trying new drugs. That is what leads them to perform clinical trials on volunteers. The British Medical Association provides further information on their website. However, you should ask your GP about trials for metastatic cancer patients, since the BMA requires patients to be referred by a doctor. In addition, there are other inquiries you should present your doctor such as:

  • Further testing
  • Referral to other physician (if necessary)
  • New treatment plan