What are the stages of metastatic cancer?
by, 05-20-2012 at 08:47 PM (512 Views)
Metastatic cancer stages are of four different types and display pattern of growth of malignant tumors. Metastatic cancer causes and symptoms are different for different forms of cancers. Hence, pace of progress of tumors from lower to higher stages of metastatic cancer may also vary accordingly. Going through correct metastatic cancer diagnosis is a key to identifying stages appropriately and taking correct decision on further actions.
Understanding More About Metastatic Cancer Stages
Cancer is a kind of cell abnormality that may occur in almost any areas of human body. Such abnormal growth is usually harmless in initial stages when the infected cells are limited to only a small region. Main problem arises when these cells turn malignant and display potential to infect several other local and regional areas by spreading mainly through lymph nodes. In some cases, blood cells also act as carriers of malignant cells. Thus, chances of early and rapid metastasis of tumors are very high if lymph nodes or blood cells get infected by malignant infection. Also, it is difficult to control metastatic cells by using lenient methods if the disorder reaches advanced cancer phases.
There are several ways of diagnosing a person for stage of metastatic cancer. Some of the popular ones include full-body or regional biopsy, ultrasound, bronchoscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, colonoscopy, X-rays, laparoscopy, and CT (Computed Tomography) scan. Fine needle aspiration biopsy, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) test, complete blood count, and general physical examination are some other ways of tracing malignant growth and knowing what stage of abnormality a person is suffering from.
Main criteria that are considered while understanding impact of identified cancer stage on a particular victim include age, cancer history (if any) of the victim and his family, gender, ethnicity or race, and geographical factors.
It is important to know stages of metastatic cancer because it helps in predicting approximate chances of survival of the victim. Each stage has different chances of survival and overall metastatic cancer survival rate decreases with increase in stage.
Basic Metastatic Cancer Stages
First stage of metastatic cancer is very preliminary in nature and indicates presence of tumors in only the local areas adjacent to point of origin of malignancy. At this stage, controlling tumors by surgical methods is quite feasible and chances of their recurrence are extremely less. Survival rate is the highest at this stage.
Second stage is a slightly severe phase but malignancy is still under controllable limits. In some forms of cancers, cancer cells may infect at least one lymph node but chances of their sudden metastasis to remotes areas are quite less. Surgery can be a feasible solution even at this stage. In some cases, methods like chemical therapy may have to be supplemented along with surgery to minimize further cancer risks.
Third stage is a serious one and indicates reach of cancer cells to a few lymph nodes. In this phase, malignancy may also invade to a few regional organs and infect healthy tissues and cells therein. Stern cure techniques like radiation therapy may have to be executed to overcome infection and avoid further damage to victim's body.
Fourth and final stage is the most severe condition with lowest survival rate. Tumors invade to maximum possible organs and infect most of the lymph nodes falling in their way.
Stages of metastatic cancer are good indicators of status of cancerous growth in a person's body. Thorough diagnosis is vital in undergoing right cure and one should also focus on executing immunotherapy for improving status of immune system.
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