The following lines will be dedicated to the metastatic cancer, which is a cancer with the ability to spread not only to the surrounding organs, but any organ in the human body regardless of its location. This ability was first detected with the malignant tumor cells and for a very long time, scientists believed that this is a sole case and that nothing else can expand in this way. But the proof that metastatic cancer can do this as well has been found. Cancer stem cells are created by the genetically damaged single cell tissue. The cancer stem cells, which have malignant phenotype, go through an abnormal and uncontrolled mitosis and multiply at this body area. The name primary tumor is used for this location from where the tumor has begun. New tumors can be developed if some of the cells enter the surrounding tissue and this tumor would be called local metastasis. The cells in the original and the newly formed tumor are very similar. So, the colon cells would be in the metastatic liver if the original tumor is colon cancer. The cancer in the liver would not be colon cancer, but metastatic liver cancer. Treatment options associated with the metastatic liver cancer depend on the stages of the condition.
Fluid located in the abdomen and abdominal pain are two most common symptoms associated with the metastatic liver cancer. There are several other possible symptoms, like skin yellowing, nausea, fever, appetite loss and jaundice.
Tumor's size, location, extent of the cancer and several other criteria are used for the classification of the stages for the metastatic liver cancer. Liver cancer has four stages and the first one is associated with the localized tumor, which can be eliminated on the operating table. In this stage, cancer has taken over one liver area and it is not larger than 2cm. During the second stage, resection can be done and the cancer spreads locally, on one or two locations. But it cannot expand to the blood vessels and connecting lymph nodes. At this stage, there may be several tumors sizing no more than 2cm, or there may be one sizing approximately 2cm.
The third stage has two parts. The first part will not affect lymph nodes and other organs, but there may be one tumor or several and they will be larger than 2cm. The cancer will affect the blood vessels as well. In the second part of this stage, blood vessels may not be affected, the size of the tumor can vary, while the surrounding lymph nodes can be affected. Other organs will not be affected by this stage. The last, fourth stage, also has two parts. The first part can affect surrounding organs, lymph nodes and both lobes of the liver. The main blood vessels can also be affected. During the second part of this stage, lymph nodes and organs located away from the original liver cancer can be affected. Life expectancy associated with this stage is very low, but there are options for treatment like medications and chemotherapy, so do not lose hope.