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Metastasis to the skin

The cancer threat is not only fast growth, but also a tendency to metastasize. Various malignant tumors metastasize in different ways (depending on the type of tumor, its localization, patient age and many other factors). Metastases to the skin occur in about 5% of people with cancer.

How the spread of metastases?

Metastases can spread throughout the body in ways:

  • metastazyhematogenous (malignant cells are carried throughout the body by the bloodstream and give rise to metastases, which are characterized by a high degree of aggressiveness);
  • lymphatic (cancer cells are carried by lymph flow, so in the surgical treatment of cancer tumors try to remove not only the tumor but also regional lymph nodes);
  • implant (metastases can be formed in contact with cancer cells in abdominal fluid);
  • mixed (for such metastases is characterized by a very slow growth, they can doze off in the body for several years after removal of primary tumors).

Farthest from the primary tumor metastases are divided into regional and remote. Regional metastases are disseminated mainly by lymphogenous and distant hematogenous.

Subcutaneous metastases may rapidly grow and reach sizes larger than the primary tumor. The appearance of metastases in most cases is a sign of 4th stage of cancer. Because cancer may develop without symptoms, the appearance of metastasis is often the first symptom of the presence in the body of the cancer. Feature of cancer metastases is the tendency to the disintegration and ulceration. Conservative therapy in the treatment of metastatic ineffective. Therefore, the prognosis of the disease when metastases are not encouraging.

Forms subcutaneous metastasis

Subcutaneous metastases are divided into the following forms:

  • nodes (subcutaneous nodular metastases can reach a diameter of 2-4 cm);
  • satellite (satellite metastases have the form of small multiple lesions);
  • roseodora (receptable subcutaneous metastases have the appearance of swelling bluish-red swelling that forms on the skin over the primary tumor);
  • tromboflebita (tromboflebitov metastases take the form of seals, painful on touch).

The skin can metastasize a malignant tumor:

  • opuholi legkihtumors of the digestive tract;
  • breast;
  • thyroid;
  • oral mucosa;
  • of the genitourinary system;
  • lungs.

Metastasize to the skin myeloma. Appears subcutaneous metastases miliitary blood cancer.

Often metastases in the skin cancer found on the skin of the chest and abdomen, and in the armpits. More than other malignant tumors of the skin metastatic breast cancer, bronchi, stomach and ovaries.

The clinical picture

lipomaColor subcutaneous metastases may not be different from the color of the surrounding skin, but in some cases, the metastases become purple. The skin above the metastasis is usually not affected the malignant process, but a large gathering of metastases in the skin it can cause ulceration and erosion. Best subcutaneous metastases determined by touch, visual inspection of the skin may not be effective.

Externally, the metastases under the skin can be like:

  • the primary lesion of skin cancer;
  • epidermoid cyst;
  • dermatitis;
  • lipoma;
  • scar.

Subcutaneous metastases of malignant tumors of the thyroid gland or kidneys may throb. Metastasis of breast tumors to the skin causes registertable changes in the skin of the chest. Paget's disease (cancer of the nipple) also causes a subcutaneous tumour on the skinappear flaky moist areas that are covered by crusts and resemble eczema or contact dermatitis.

Treatment of subcutaneous metastases

The most common method of dealing with subcutaneous metastases – surgery. This method is used in the treatment of regional metastasis from the primary tumor to prevent the further spread of the tumor.

Hyperthermia – a method based on thermal effects. When using the method of hyperthermia on the hearth malignant cells are exposed to high temperatures, while cancer cells die. Treatment of metastases with the help of cyber knife features the innovative techniques and can be applied on different parts of the body of the patient.

Metastases in cancer of the skin

Melanoma is characterized by high frequency of metastasis. Metastases spread throughout the body lymphogenous and hematogenous route, they can be both regional and remote. The vast majority of patients (90%), which was held surgical treatment of melanoma, metastases are detected within 5 years after surgery.

Of great importance is the localisation of metastases in melanoma. Approximately 60% of cases metastasis of melanoma affect the skin and subcutaneous tissue. The life expectancy of these patients ranges from 7 to 18 months. When melanoma metastasis to the brain, lungs or liver, the average life expectancy of 3-7 months.


Specific recommendations for the prevention of metastases no. But to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer of the fourth degree, regularly paying attention to their health and timely seeking medical help at the first signs of the disease. You also need to avoid factors that trigger the development of malignant processes: intense exposure to sunlight or radiation, interaction with chemical or toxic substances.

Healthy lifestyle, eating right and avoiding harmful habits will not protect from occurrence of metastases with a 100% guarantee, but it will significantly reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.

When the diagnosis of cancer to prevent metastasis in some cases chemotherapy and radiation therapy, surgical removal of the primary tumor.