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What is metastasis, and how does it relate to cancer spread and treatment?

Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another.

Metastasis is a complex process that involves cancer cells breaking away from the primary tumour, invading nearby tissues, entering the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and then forming new tumours in other parts of the body. This process is responsible for the majority of cancer-related deaths, as it makes treatment more difficult and reduces the chances of survival.

The spread of cancer through metastasis can occur at any stage of the disease, but it is more likely to happen as the cancer progresses and becomes more aggressive. Factors that can increase the risk of metastasis include the size and location of the primary tumour, the type of cancer, and the stage of the disease.

Treatment for metastatic cancer is more challenging than for early-stage cancer, as the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these approaches. The goal of treatment is to slow down the spread of cancer, relieve symptoms, and improve quality of life. However, in some cases, metastatic cancer may be incurable, and treatment may focus on palliative care to manage symptoms and improve comfort.

In conclusion, metastasis is a critical aspect of cancer progression that significantly affects treatment and prognosis. Understanding the mechanisms of metastasis and developing new therapies to target it is essential for improving cancer outcomes.

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