What is Cancer Metastasis?
The stage of the cancer ailment which separates its cure from the treatment is technically known as metastasis. Once a patient is found to be suffering from a cancer beyond this stage, the disease can also be addressed by curbing the signs and symptoms. Awareness of this topic plays a vital role in early diagnosis of the cancer.
What is Metastasis?
Cells are the building blocks of life. They combine together to form tissues which in turn come together to form organs in the body. A fundamental characteristic of these cells is that they must undergo a programmed death called apoptosis after a certain period of time. They are replaced by new cells.
This process is regulated by the chemical instructions called genes made up of DNA and RNA molecules. These instructions are in the form of chemical structures with specific molecules located at their respective site in genes.
Due to the influence of some certain unavoidable factors, the structures of genes undergo change when molecules from their respective sites are transferred to other locations. This process is known as mutation.
Change in the chemical instructions can make the cells behave abnormally. For instance, old cells may not die and new cells might start forming at an uncontrollable rate which is definitely undesirable.
When such developments take place in the body, an individual suffers from cancer. Chunk of abnormal rogue cells is called a tumor. It can either be benign type or the malignant type. The former is characterized by the fact that it does not spread to other parts of the body from its primary site. Benign tumors do not pose threat to the life.
The latter type of tumor has the ability of making its rogue cells enter into the blood stream. As a result, these cells can travel to the remote corner of the body too. They interfere the normal functioning of the healthy cells in the fresh locations and turn them malignant too. This feature is called invasion. The process of spreading of the rogue cells to the remote corners of the body to spread the disease is technically known as Metastasis.
In this way, uncontrolled growth, ability to interfere with the healthy cells turning them malignant (invasion) and the capability to spread the disease from the primary site to the entire body (metastasis) are some of the characteristics of malignant tumor cells.