Metastatic carcinoma is a malignant tumor that arises from the skin or lining of the organs and is able to spread to surrounding tissues, as in metastasis. For example if a certain type of cancer starts in the colon but then it spreads to the liver, the cancerous cells foundin the liver are the same that those in the colon and this is what is called metastasis.
Metastatic carcinoma’s symptoms depend on the area where the tumor is located. However, some patients may not experience symptom at all and detect cancer incidentally. Other patients experience symptoms only when the cancer has evolved to more advanced stages. Thus, symptoms usually do not appear unless the disease has reached advanced stages.
Here are few examples of metastatic cancers, their symptoms and treatments.
Metastatic breast carcinoma is the most feared type of cancer in women and the most advanced stage of breast cancer. This would be stage IV. By the time breast cancer has become metastatic, the cancerous cells have spread from the underarm lymph nodes to other organs and tissues of the body where they continue growing and multiplying. Breast cancer is most likely to spread to the bone, lung and liver. Metastatic breast carcinoma symptoms include the breast nodules and sometimes pain, especially in more advanced stages. Since metastatic cancer is the last stage of cancer treatment options are not many. Usually treatment in these cases is focused on easing the patient’s pain and symptoms and extending her life as much as possible.
Metastatic colon carcinoma is the cancer that spreads from the colon to other organs of the body. Colon carcinoma may spread to the liver and other distant organs. There are many symptoms that could be a sign of colon cancer but they are not however specific. These include weakness, fatigue, narrow stools, diarrhea or constipation, blood in stool, cramps and abdominal pain. Also, diseases such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome or diverticulosis can mimic the symptoms of colon cancer. Patients with metastatic colon carcinoma are unlikely to get cured from cancer no matter what type of treatment is used. In earlier stages of colorectal cancer surgery and chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be effective in treating cancer but metastatic stages are incurable.
Another common type of malignant tumor is the cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. This is the second most common type of skin cancer which is caused by exposure to sun. Although, this type of skin cancer is usually detected early and taken care of there is a risk for metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, cancer that can spread from the skin to other organs in the body. Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma usually occurs within 5 years from when skin cancer was diagnosed and the cancer cells spread primarily to the parotid nodes and the submental and submaxilarry nodes. Patients with metastatic skin cancer have a poor prognosis especially if the patient’s immune system is compromised. However, if the metastasis is detected early and treatment is followed while the disease is closely monitored, patients have a much greater survival chance.
To conclude the metastatic carcinoma is a severe form of cancer, usually the last stage of cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body and which is incurable in most cases mainly due to the fact that it reached to too many organs and tissues.