Metastasis is the movement or spreading of cancer cells from one organ or tissue to another. Cancer cells usually spread through the blood or the lymph system.
If a cancer spreads, it is said to have "metastasized."
Metastatic cancer; Cancer metastases
Whether or not cancer cells spread to other parts of the body depends on many things, including:
- The type of cancer
- The stage of the cancer
- Original location of the cancer
Treatment depends on the type of cancer and where it has spread.
Perry MC. Approach to the patient with cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 182.