Colorectal Cancer Metastasis Sites
Blood in your stool or very dark stools. A change in your bowel habits, such as more frequent stools, thinner stools, or a feeling that your bowels are not emptying completely. Loss of appetite. Constant tiredness ( fatigue ). If your cancer has spread, you may have other symptoms, depending on where the cancer is. If it has spread to: The lymph nodes of your belly, it may cause bloating , a swollen belly, loss of appetite, or a feeling of fullness. The liver, it may cause pain on the upper right side of your belly, bloating, loss of appetite, or a feeling of fullness. The lungs, it may cause you to cough, spit up blood, or have a hard time breathing. The bones, it may cause bone pain, especially in your back, hips, and pelvis. The brain , it may cause problems with memory, concentration, balance, or movement. How is metastatic or recurrent colorectal cancer diagnosed? Colon or rectal cancer that has spread or returned is diagnosed using a physical exam and several tests, including blood tests, chest X-rays, bone scans , ultrasounds, and CT , PET , or MRI scans. The diagnosis is usually confirmed with a biopsy .
According to the American Cancer Society, colon or rectal cancer accounted for almost 150,000 new diagnoses and almost 50,000 deaths in the United States in 2009. These cancers develop when cells acquire genetic mutations that allow the cells to proliferate uncontrollably and indefinitely, evading cell death mechanisms. Cancer cells also have the ability to metatasize–travel from the initial primary tumor throughout the body, forming secondary tumors in other tissues. Colorectal cancer cells most commonly metastasize to a few regions throughout the body, leading to a range of potentially fatal symptoms. Liver Colorectal cancer most commonly metatasizes to the liver, the organ responsible for detoxifying the body. In a 2006 study published in “Cancer Control,” Dr. J. McLoughlin reported that around 50 percent of colorectal cancer patients developed secondary tumors in the liver. Common metastasis to the liver is thought to be due to the path of blood flow from the colon, which facilitates migration of cancer cells from the colon to the liver. Metatasis to the liver can lead to a number of potentially fatal side effects. As a secondary tumor grows within the liver, the neighboring regions of the organ have difficulty functioning. As the liver begins to fail, patients will often experience a loss of appetite and weight loss. In later stages of metastasis, patients may experience jaundice, a yellowing of the skin, which indicates that the liver is shutting down. Early detection of liver metastasis is required to treat the cancer. You Might Also Like