Oregonians who have been diagnosed with cancer may know that the disease isn't necessarily confined to one part of the body. Cancer that becomes mobile within the body is known as metastatic cancer, and it can spread via numerous mechanisms depending on issues like the condition of a patient's immune system, the starting location of the tumor and other health factors.
Health experts with the National Cancer Institute say cancer cells that start off inside lymphatic or blood system tissues may be able to spread without satisfying as many of the prerequisites other cancer cells require to metastasize. In general, however, metastasis occurs when cancer cells invade adjacent tissues, take over blood or lymph vessels, or move through these systems.
Once cancers begin to proliferate, they can multiply to create remote new tumors or get stuck in local blood vessels and capillaries whereupon they transfer into surrounding tissue structures. In some cases, cancers will remain dormant for an extended time period at new locations before they start growing, and the NCI also says that people whose tumors have metastasized may not exhibit any notable symptoms unless they're tested using x-rays and other imaging techniques.
The complex nature of diseases like cancer means that patients who seek medical assistance could be treated improperly. In such cases, these individuals may find they have to undergo additional medical treatment and spend more money and time recovering. Some even develop additional health problems as a direct result of the incorrect treatment or diagnoses they originally received. Those seeking to lessen the financial losses they have experienced as a result of a failure to detect cancer may find it helpful to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to learn about their legal options.