What are the Symptoms of Metastatic Cancer?

What are the Symptoms of Metastatic Cancer?

Metastatic cancer, also known as stage IV cancer, occurs when cancer cells spread from the original (primary) site to other parts of the body. Symptoms of metastatic cancer can vary based on the type of cancer and the organs or areas to which it has spread. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue: Persistent and excessive tiredness or weakness.
  • Pain: Dull or sharp pain at the site of the primary tumor or in areas where the cancer has spread (metastasized).
  • Weight Loss: Unexplained and unintentional weight loss.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, often due to cancer affecting the lungs or spreading to the chest.
  • Cough: A persistent cough, coughing up blood, or changes in a chronic cough.
  • Swelling or Enlargement: Swelling or enlargement of lymph nodes or other body parts due to the spread of cancer.
  • Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits: Changes in bowel movements, blood in stool, or changes in urination habits.
  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the skin or eyes due to liver involvement.
  • Headaches or Seizures: Persistent or severe headaches, seizures, or neurological symptoms if cancer has spread to the brain.
  • Bone Pain: Bone pain, fractures, or an increased risk of fractures if cancer has spread to the bones.
  • Skin Changes: Changes in the color, texture, or appearance of the skin in the affected areas.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Confusion, memory loss, or difficulty with coordination and balance if the cancer has spread to the brain.
  • Digestive Problems: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or difficulty swallowing.
  • Vision Changes: Changes in vision, eye pain, or other eye-related symptoms if cancer has spread to the eyes.
  • Cognitive or Behavioral Changes: Changes in behavior, personality, or cognitive function.

It’s important to note that metastatic cancer symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other medical conditions, making it crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate tests for an accurate diagnosis. Early detection and timely treatment are vital for managing metastatic cancer and improving quality of life.

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