4 ways cancer spreads

How cancer cells metastasize

1. Blood circulation spread

When cancer cells grow to a certain extent, they will fall off, enter the surrounding blood vessels, and then follow the blood circulation into the body tissues and organs. Especially organs with abundant blood supply are most likely to be transferred, such as liver, lungs, brain and bones.

2. Lymphatic metastasis

There are many lymphatic tissues and lymph vessels in the body. The former is the immune system, which can help eliminate cancer cells. But cancer cells are very cunning, they will escape immune cells through certain means, and even use immune cells to help metastasis. Cancer cells can metastasize to nearby lymph nodes through the lymphatic ducts. The most common is breast cancer metastasis to the armpit, subclavian and supraclavicular lymph nodes.

3. Direct violation

As cancer cells grow, they can invade surrounding organs and tissues. Take rectal cancer, for example, the surrounding bladder, skin, levator ani muscle and urethra may be invaded, as are the vagina, uterus, and prostate.

4. Planting transfer

Cancer cells continue to develop and fall off to other parts of the body. For example, in gastric cancer, cancer cells will be planted in any part of the abdominal cavity after they fall off, such as the surface of the mesentery, small intestine, peritoneum, or omentum, and may also be planted in the ovaries.

What are the symptoms of cancer spread

1. Body weight loss

As cancer cells grow, they will continue to consume nutrients in the body, leading to unexplained weight loss, weight loss, severe anemia, and loss of appetite. In middle age, when there is unexplained wasting and weight loss, it is necessary to seek immediate medical attention.

2. Inexplicable fever

Cancer cells grow fast and will die when they are not supplied with nutrients. After the necrotic tissue is absorbed, it will cause low fever. In addition, cancer cells also release inflammatory mediators, which also cause fever, and generally the low temperature is below 38°C. If the fever persists and the cause cannot be found, cancer metastasis should be considered.

3. Feel a painless lump

There are many superficial lymph nodes in the body. If there are hard masses on the clavicle, groin and neck, without pain, and poor mobility of the masses, it means that the cancer cells have metastasized to lymph nodes or are already lymphoma.

4. Special symptoms

Cells will be transferred to different organs, causing patients to have different symptoms. If transferred to the brain, it can cause headache, dizziness, nausea, jet-like vomiting, movement and sensory disturbances. Transfer to the liver can cause hepatosplenomegaly, abdominal pain, elevated transaminases and jaundice, and transfer to the spine and bones can cause severe pain and pathological fractures.