What happens when lung cancer spreads?
Cancerous cells can grow into surrounding healthy tissues, including the lining of the lungs and nearby lobes. This is known as local metastasis. Or, cancerous cells can invade the lymph nodes and travel through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body. This is known as distant metastasis.
How long can you live with lung metastasis?
Breast cancer: The median survival of patients with lung metastases was 21 months, while those with metastases confined to lungs had a median survival of 25 months.
What are the signs that lung cancer has spread?
If lung cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may cause:
- Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)
- Nervous system changes (such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer spread to the brain.
Is metastatic lung curable?
A lung metastasis is a serious, life-threatening condition that’s difficult to treat successfully, although in certain cases the patient can gain years—and sometimes even be cured—by surgically removing the growth. Cancer cells that spread to and take root in the lungs are said to have “metastasized” the lung.
How fast do metastatic lung nodules grow?
There is very little growth or change, if there’s any at all. Cancerous pulmonary nodules, however, are known to grow relatively quickly—usually doubling in size every four months but sometimes as fast as every 25 days.
How do you treat metastatic lung disease?
Treatment may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Surgery may be an option if there are a small number of lung metastases and there are no metastases in other parts of the body. Also, surgery would only be used if the main cancer is under control.
Why are the lungs a common site for metastasis?
The pulmonary arteries are the most common route for metastases. Cancers most likely to metastasize to the lungs include those with a rich vascular supply draining directly into the systemic venous system. Spread via bronchial arteries may be responsible for some endobronchial metastases.
How long does it take for lung cancer to progress from Stage 1 to Stage 4?
It takes about three to six months for most lung cancers to double their size. Therefore, it could take several years for a typical lung cancer to reach a size at which it could be diagnosed on a chest X-ray.
What is the life expectancy of someone with metastatic cancer?
A patient with widespread metastasis or with metastasis to the lymph nodes has a life expectancy of less than six weeks. A patient with metastasis to the brain has a more variable life expectancy (one to 16 months) depending on the number and location of lesions and the specifics of treatment.
How long does someone live with terminal lung cancer?
Doctors classify lung cancer as a terminal illness. Approximately 16% of people with this type of cancer survive more than 5 years after their initial diagnosis.