When Lung Cancer Spreads to Other Parts of Body
The greatest concern for any lung cancer patient is its spread to other parts of the body. When the malignant tumors form, they seek to amalgamate and take over the entire organ. This process is called metastasis and when these malignant tumors develop away from initial site, it is called metastases. The lung cancer cells spread to other organs, metastatic disease, the cancer usually becomes incurable.
Treatment of metastatic NSCLC has improved drastically over the years but a lot more need to be done. Many cases of NSCLC are not discovered until after the cancer has metastasized. The symptoms of metastatic NSCLC depend on the area where the cancer has spread to.
Lung Cancer Spread
Metastatic NSCLC cells are likely to spread to lymph nodes in middle of chest, liver adrenal glands, bones and the brain as well. If the cancer has spread to the bones, it can cause bone pain in hips or back. When the lung cancer spreads to the brain, the errant cells cause weakness, numbness of arm or leg, dizziness and seizures. Lung cancer that has spread to skin or lymph nodes, it causes lumps near surface of the body.
In case NSCLC spreads to the liver, the cancer can cause yellowness of skin and eyes. Those patients where the lung cancer has spread to adrenal glands, it may cause dizziness, fatigue and weakness.
The treatment options available for metastatic NSCLC depend on many factors such as areas where the cancer spread to and the characteristics of the cancer. Doctors treat lung cancer with drugs to block the pathways of cancer cells. This helps to slow down the growth and then they turn to more invasive options available including chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. Then, there are targeted therapies as well which are directed at a particular genetic target.
What do you think about the spread of lung cancer to other organs? Share your views with us in the comments section below.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes. If you face any cancer related symptoms, contact your health care provider.