How to stop the metastasis?
Very often, cancer tumors metastasize to adjacent and distant organs, complicating treatment and reducing the patient's life. From the presence or absence of metastasis depends on the stage of the cancer. What kind of education? How to stop the metastasis? How to identify them? Can they be cured?
Metastases: what is it?
The word "metastases" is of Greek origin. The literal translation is "otherwise stand". This secondary foci of tumor growth. Many cancers metastasize to regional lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones.
Modern medicine believes that the metastases are formed almost immediately after the appearance of a malignant tumor. From her detached individual cells, which penetrate into blood or lymphatic vessels and migrate them to new places. Then the cancer cells out of the vessel and form metastases.
Why are there metastases?
From the parent tumor cells always come off. But a strong immune system for a long time inhibits their growth. Tumor cells spread. But remain dormant or grow very slowly for several years. Why in the body quickly spread and grow metastases, unknown to science.
Another known fact: when in the metastasis increases the number of cells, the latter secrete growth factors. The result around the tumor is formed of the vascular and capillary network. Therefore cancers get all the nutrients in the damage healthy body tissues.
What determines the rate of metastasis?
The rate of clinical signs of the metastases depends on the type of tumor and degree of differentiation of its tissues. High differentiation of metastatic spread begins later and less. Sometimes metastases appear immediately after the parent tumor. In many patients, the metastasis is diagnosed after a year or two. Latent ("dormant") metastases can be detected even after many years after surgery. A special treatment reduces the likelihood or delays metastasis of this malignancy.
Frequency and characteristics of metastasis depend on the following factors:
- Cancer at the beginning of treatment (than before was discovered and removed the tumor, the more likely it is that cancer cells do not have time to penetrate into lymphatic or blood vessels).
- Localization of the tumor (location, maternal education affect the pathways of metastases).
- Form of tumor growth and histological structure of the cancer (superficial cancers do not metastasize many years, infiltrative tumors very early metastasize, quickly metastatic melanoma, etc.).
- The nature and scope of a radical treatment (the most favorable forecasts in combined methods).
- Patient age (at a young age malignant tumors metastasize early).
The prognosis of the disease is determined after the analysis of all these factors.
Ways of metastasis:
- nodal (tumor cells invade lymph vessels and blood flow are transferred to nearby or distant lymph nodes);
- hematogenous (cancer cells go into the blood vessels and with blood are transferred to other organs);
- mixed (the way most metastatic tumors).
Malignant tumor of peritoneum and organs of the pelvic cavity giving a shallow "dust" metastases in the abdominal cavity. Simultaneously with the dissemination process of the peritoneum develops a hemorrhagic effusion (ascites).
Metastasize like cancer of different localization?
Most often metastases are found in lymph nodes, liver and lungs. Rarely in the skin, pancreas, spleen, skeletal and cardiacmuscles. Intermediate frequency detection is the kidneys and adrenal glands, bone and the Central nervous system.
Present in the form of the ratio of cancers (the most common) and typical places of localization of metastases:
- cancer of the colon, stomach, pancreas, uterus and ovaries peritoneum, liver, lungs;
- rectal cancer – adrenals, liver, lungs;
- cancer of the lung – the other lung, adrenal glands, liver;
- cancer of the breast, prostate, kidney, pancreas, spleen, liver, bone, lungs;
- melanoma – liver, skin, lungs, and muscle tissue.
What is the danger of metastasis?
First, most tumors begin to metastasize when the body can no longer fight the cancer.
Secondly, metastases interfere with the important organs and systems to function normally.
Third, the metastases are often accompanied by severe pains, significantly impair patient's condition.
And finally, the death of most cancer patients is due to metastatic maternal tumors.
What are the signs of metastases?
Clinic of metastatic cancer is determined by the location of metastases.
For example, metastases in the abdomen cause ascites. Lesions of the spine and long bones of the skeleton is manifested by susceptibility to fractures and severe pain in the body. The main features of metastases in the brain seizures, severe headaches, a change in the nature and level of consciousness.
How to determine metastasis?
Methods of recognition of metastases:
- ultrasound examination;
- computed tomography;
- magnetic resonance imaging;
- plain radiography;
- radioisotope study;
- positron emission tomography.
These methods allow to find out the prevalence, size and growth pattern of metastases; the germination in organs and tissues, disintegration and suppuration; and the degree of regression under the influence of treatment.
Is it possible to cure metastasis?
After surgical removal of the tumor under active chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The main goal is the prevention of metastasis.
Treatment of diagnosed metastases is the same way they treated the parent tumor:
- radiation therapy;
- surgical removal (with single metastases).
The main difficulty lies in the fact that the majority of metastases are not very sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs. Is very small the probability of achieving remission. So often the treatment is to relieve symptoms and prolong life.