What is ‘High Grade’ Metastatic Cancer?
We know that cells are the basic unit of life that is our body is made up of cells. They grow and divide to make new cells, form tissues, tissues form organs, and organs form organ system and then organism. Usually, cells die when they get too old or damaged. Then, new cells take their place. In this way in our body cells plays a crucial role.
Therefore, cancer is caused when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. It is a group of more than 100 different diseases. Do you know that cancer can develop almost anywhere in the body.
Basically, cancer begins when genetic changes interferes with the orderly process and as a result cells started growing in an uncontrolled way and form a mass called tumour. It depends that tumour can be cancerous or benign. If the tumour is cancerous then it is malignant i.e. it can grow anywhere and spread to other parts of the body. Whereas the benign tumour is that it can grow but do not spread to other parts of the body.
Now let us study about ‘high grade’ metastatic cancer.
No doubt when we hear or see some news about cancer it causes fear in our hearts. Nowadays, it is spreading like anything. Isn’t it! The important is to have knowledge about cancer, its stages, symptoms, treatment etc.
First we will study about the word Metastatic or Metastasis
Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another through blood or lymphatic system and form new tumours known as metastatic tumours in other parts of the body. The main reason that cancer is so serious is its ability to spread in the body. If the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes or tissues close to the origin or primary site then it is a regional or local metastasis. But if the cancer spreads to tissues or organs farther away it is called distant metastasis. Metastasis is also known as ‘metastatic cancer’ or ‘stage 4 cancer’. For example, if breast cancer spread to the lung then it is called metastatic breast cancer and not lung cancer. In this case, the cancer is treated as stage IV breast cancer.
Now, we will study what is ‘high grade’ cancer?
Cancer occurs in stages and labelled as I to IV, with IV being the most serious. Each stage defines how big the tumour is and how far it has spread.
In high-grade that is poorly differentiated cancers, the cells of cancer look very different than normal cells, they grow very quickly with worse outlook. As, compared to low-grade cancers, high-grade cancer need different treatments.
Types of stages
Stage 0 means there’s no cancer, only abnormal cells with potential to become cancer.
Stage I means cancer is small and spread in one area. This is also known as early-stage of cancer.
Stage II and III means cancer is larger and has grown into nearby tissues or lymph nodes.
Stage IV means cancer has spread to other parts of the body and it’s known as advanced or metastatic cancer.
Therefore, we can say that the grade is a measure of how abnormal the cancer looks under microscope. This is also known as differentiation. Grading is important as from it we come to know about the condition of cells, their growth and how much faster they are spreading.
Symptoms of Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer does not always show symptoms. If symptoms occur then their nature and frequency will depend upon the size and location of the metastatic tumours. Some common signs may include:
- Headache, seizures, or dizziness (when cancer spread to the brain)
- Visual problems
- Pain and fractures
- Shortness of breath (when cancer has spread to the lung)
- Jaundice or swelling in the belly (when cancer has spread to the liver)
- Difficulty walking or confusion
Do you know where metastatic cancer spreads through the body?
Metastatic cancer can spread to any part of the body. The most common sites where cancer can spreads are bone, liver and lung.
- Breast cancer tends to spread to the bones, liver, lungs, chest wall, and brain.
- Bladder cancer tends to metastasize to bone, liver, and lungs.
- Prostate cancer tends to spread to the bones.
- Ovary cancer tends to spread to the liver, lung, and peritoneum.
- Uterus tends to spread to the bone, liver, lungs, peritoneum, and vagina.
- Colon and rectal cancers tend to spread to the liver and lungs.
- Lung cancer tends to spread to the brain, bones, liver, and adrenal glands.
Therefore, we can say that metastatic cancer spread to various parts of the body and it is not necessary that symptoms occur. So, is dangerous.