5 doctors weighed in:

Why is metastatic cancer difficult to treat?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Thompson
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Dr. Michael Thompson
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Dr. Sabha Ganai
Surgery - Oncology

In brief: Degree of Spread

"metastatic" implies that the cancer has spread to distant sites.
This means that the cancer is more aggressive and is all over the body. For many kinds of cancers this means that surgery and radiation won't work as well (but that depends on tumor type, location, and degree of spread). The best treatment options for stage IV (metastatic) cancers is chemotherapy and aggressive palliative care.

In brief: Degree of Spread

"metastatic" implies that the cancer has spread to distant sites.
This means that the cancer is more aggressive and is all over the body. For many kinds of cancers this means that surgery and radiation won't work as well (but that depends on tumor type, location, and degree of spread). The best treatment options for stage IV (metastatic) cancers is chemotherapy and aggressive palliative care.
Dr. Sabha Ganai
Dr. Sabha Ganai
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