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Metastasis

Metastasis is the development of secondary cancer, when cancer cells break away from where they first formed and travel through the blood or lymph system to form new tumours in other parts of the body. A metastatic tumour is the same type of cancer as the primary tumour.

Many of the projects that Action Against Cancer is funding are linked to understanding the causes of metastasis, in order to:

  • better predict the likelihood of cancerous cells metastasising (spreading) in each patient
  • tailor the testing for patients with a high likelihood of their cancer metastasising so as to improve the likelihood of early diagnosis
  • improve the therapeutic strategies for these patients once a propensity for metastasis of their cancer has been identified, thus greatly increasing their chances of survival.
Microscopic image of Metastasis
Primary tumours can metastasise (spread) to other sites in the body.
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Microscopic image of Metastasis
Primary tumours can metastasise (spread) to other sites in the body.