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Doctor insights on: Is Metastatic Cancer Terminal

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Is metastatic anal cancer terminal?

Is metastatic anal cancer terminal?

Unfortunately: Metastatic disease (also known as stage 4) is usually not curable by todays treatments. Although use of chemotherapy may improve survival and may rarely put someone into a temporary remission the disease usually returns or more often does not go away and eventually progresses and the patient will eventually succumb to it. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,323 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Are there symptoms of metastatic cancer?

Are there symptoms of metastatic cancer?

Yes: But not always. It depends on the type of cancer and where it has spread. Bone pain, abdominal pain, skin turning yellow, cough, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, dizziness and headache are some possible symptoms. Sometimes cancer spreads silently and may only show up on imaging tests. ...Read more

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Why is metastatic cancer difficult to treat?

Why is metastatic cancer difficult to treat?

Bad biology: Some metastatic cancer does respond well (eg, testicular cancer), but in general when a cancer has spread beyond the confines of its organ (eg, breast, liver) of origin it is demonstrating bad biologic behavior. That is, it appears to be able to spread distantly and "live" away from it's local primary/original tumor environment. ...Read more

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Do you have any uplifting stories about metastatic cancer being somehow cured?

Do you have any uplifting stories about metastatic cancer being somehow cured?

Be present now: It may sound cliched but living in the moment is a hugely helpful technique for thriving with and without cancer! I have learned some of my most important life lessons from my dear friend and nurse practitioner, dale, who took great care of herself with weekly massage, acupuncture, laughter and love during her year of breast cancer surgery, chemo and radiation- she's I doing great 3 years later! ...Read more

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In regards to metastatic cancer, how many times have you heard of a person being diagnosed and living for years?

More often nowadays: Metastatic disease is a very broad term with response to rx based on the ca origin, sites of metastasis, and response to therapy. Unfortunately, for some people, survival is measured in months; however, the other extreme is possible, with people living for many years, not unlike a chronic illness which cannot be cured but can be controlled. I hope that whomever you are asking about responds to rx. ...Read more

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What's spinal metastatic cancer?

What's spinal metastatic cancer?

Ca not from bone: Cancer from another source that settles or is metastatic to the spine. Prostate cancer breast cancer and lung cancer are a few examples of cancers that can metastasize to the spine. Most metastatic disease to distant sites occurs via the blood stream. ...Read more

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What are some metastatic cancer symptoms?

What are some metastatic cancer symptoms?

It depends: The symptoms depend on the location of metastasis and the organ involved. General symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Often times metastasis can be silent (asymptomatic). ...Read more

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Is surgery ever appropriate for metastatic cancer?

Yes: Yes. In general surgery is not useful for metastatic (spread) cancer. However in oligo (few) metastatic cancer -- especially for breast, colon, melanoma cancers patients may be rendered stage 4 ned (no evidence of disease). This may improve local control and symptoms, survival, and in a few cases even lead to cure. Removing the primary tumor (kidney) in renal cell carcinoma is helpful in met rcc. ...Read more

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Can you tell me the life expectancy of someone with metastatic cancer?

Can you tell me the life expectancy of someone with metastatic cancer?

No: It varies widely depending on the type of cancer. This is something to ask your oncologist, and ask him or her to be very honest with you. Although we never know exact time frames, we can usually give you some idea (weeks vs a few months vs six months vs a year or more.). ...Read more

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What do you suggest if my dad has got metastatic cancer and spreading very fast.?

What do you suggest if my dad has got metastatic cancer and spreading very fast.?

Discuss with oncolog: If his disease is widespread, then treatment with chemo may buy him some time but will not cure him. Hospice may be a good alternative to improve quality of life. ...Read more

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Metastatic cancer of the lungs: what are the signs?

Metastatic cancer of the lungs: what are the signs?

Location: It depends to location if is bone it cause bone pain if is brain it cause headache dizziness, abdominal nodes and bowel cause pain. ...Read more

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Metastatic cancer of the lungs - what are the signs?

Metastatic cancer of the lungs - what are the signs?

SOB, hemoptysis: Lung mets may be asymptomatic (no symptoms). Other common symptoms are shortness of breath, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), pain. ...Read more

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Is stage IV metastatic cancer treatable?

Is stage IV metastatic cancer treatable?

Depends: Some cancers are curable with today's chemotherapy even if they have spread extensively. Others (for example, the common lung cancers) may someday be curable when they have reached stage iv, but not today. I've just seen reports of possible cures of stage IV colon and stomach cancers; I'm hopeful. ...Read more

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Clear pet scan with metastatic cancer, what does it mean?

PET scan: Pet scans are often used to look for metastatic disease and a clear scan means no obvious disease noted, a good sign but does not always guarantee one is disease free. ...Read more

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Can metastatic cancer be easily missed in a physical exam?

Can metastatic cancer be easily missed in a physical exam?

Yes: Yes but it depend what was the original cancer and where the potential metastases if we are talking about superficial lymph nodes those are easy to find by physical examination if we are talking about deep lymph nodes or liver, lungs, brain or any other organs then only CT scan or PET scan can discover it again depend on the original cancer and where it is expected to spread ...Read more

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Do you have to stay in hospital if I have metastatic cancer?

Do you have to stay in hospital if I have metastatic cancer?

No: No. Cancer can be treated in a medical oncologist's clinic. Hospitalization may be required if there are complications of cancer or of treatment. ...Read more

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Is stage IV metastatic cancer treatable, and is it ever survivable?

Treatable noy surviv: Treatment can be given in stage IV in most cancers it might prolong lifespan by a few weeks, but not significant. ...Read more

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What's the difference in treatment between primary and metastatic cancer?

What's the difference in treatment between primary and metastatic cancer?

Site of origin: Primary cancer is the tumor that arises in the organ in question, whereas secondary cancer is one that arose somewhere else and spread to the organ in question. As an example, bronchogenic carcinoma is a primary cancer of the lung; breast cancer when it spreads to the lung is secondary cancer of the lung. ...Read more