When Lung Cancer Spreads To Other Parts Of The Body

Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is usually successful when the disease is caught early. It is still localized in the lungs, and can be removed by surgery. According to its location and extent of lung tissue that was affected, a surgeon can perform a wedge resection, lobectomy or pneumonectomy. Unfortunately, a large percentage of cases not discovered until the disease has spread beyond the lungs. It is a process called metastasis. When this happens, surgery alone is insufficient to treat the disease.

This article will explain how lung cancer spreads to other areas of the body. You will learn about treatment options doctors use to solve the disease along the way.

The Onset Of Metastasis
NSCLC, tumors formed by cancer cells. These cells eventually separate the tumor and travel to other parts of the body. They can do so through the lymphatic system (part of the immune system), or the patient's blood.

When lung cancer is discussed in the context of the lungs, is considered a primary tumor or primary cancer. As discussed in the context of the areas outside the lungs, it is called secondary cancer. For example, if a NSCLC has spread to the brain, a surgeon can refer to it as "secondary brain cancer in the lung" rather than "brain cancer." This is because metastasis has occurred, and indicates the original site of disease.

When Cancer Cells Spread To Lymph Nodes
The first place where the lung cancer cells to migrate to the lymph nodes. The cells delivered via the lymphatic system. In many cases, this does not necessarily imply that metastatic cells can switch to the early stages of the disease. When the cells have reached the lymph nodes, but may spread to other areas of the chest.

This expansion is rarely captured by doctors because it is often absent of symptoms. When the NSCLC is detected in the lymph nodes, chemotherapy is commonly used to treat it.

Lung Cancer To Bone
Bone metastases is common and affects an estimated four out of ten people with the end of NSCLC. Although the disease can spread through the body of bones, common sites include the thigh, pelvis and spine. The patient will feel pain that worsens as the disease progresses. It is common for people to confuse the pain of sports injuries as slight muscle strain.

By the time lung cancer has reached the bone, which has progressed to the point that the treatment focuses on relieving symptoms rather than cure the disease. Radiotherapy is usually a treatment option for you. The patient receives the drug also helps to minimize pain.

When The Disease Reaches The Brain
Many people suffering from lung cancer will experience a late stage of brain metastases. This can cause several side effects such as headaches, seizures and loss of coordination. Symptoms of NSCLC has reached the brain are similar to side effects of a stroke.

Treatment may include various options, including surgery, chemotherapy and stereotactic radiotherapy. This last option is to deliver a high dose of radiation to specific parts of the brain tissue.

Cancer Cells In The Liver
Usually detected by accident in the liver NSCLC represents a breakthrough in an advanced stage of disease. When cancer cells have reached the liver, the condition is generally considered to step 4. Often no symptoms other than the patient is already suffering. Other times, the patient may experience nausea and pain under the ribs.

As with NSCLC that has spread to bones, treatment of the disease in the liver is designed to reduce symptoms. Surgery is rarely done now.

Metastasis of cancer cells from the lungs to other parts of the body is an indication that surgery alone can not cure the disease. If you suspect you may have NSCLC, consult your doctor to discuss treatment options are most appropriate.

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