Cancer can develop in almost any part of the body. Skin cancer starts in the skin, lung cancer starts in the lungs, and bone cancer starts in the bones.
If you have a loved one who was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may know that it is also a type of cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that starts in the mesothelium, a membrane that lines the inside of the body’s cavities.
Unfortunately, like other forms of cancer, mesothelioma can spread from one part of the body to another as the disease progresses. This spread is called metastasis.
How does cancer spread in the body?
Generally, cancer spreads in the area where it originally formed. This means that cancer in the mesothelium is more likely to spread within the mesothelium than spread out of it to other areas of the body.
However, cancer can spread from the mesothelium to other areas of the body when cancer cells break off a tumor and travel through the bloodstream or lymph system. If you were told that your loved one’s mesothelioma has metastasized, it means that this has occurred.
Where can cancer spread in the body?
Lymph nodes are a commonplace that cancer can spread to. These oval-shaped organs act as filters in the body. They contain immune cells that help destroy harmful substances that are carried through the lymph system.
The lymph nodes nearest to a tumor may do most of the work filtering out or killing cancer cells traveling in the lymph system. Because of this, when cancer spreads to a lymph node, it is usually the one that is closest to the original tumor.
Other places in the body that mesothelioma has been known to spread to include:
- Adrenal glands
Your loved one’s doctor is likely monitoring any spread of your loved one’s cancer. Metastasis is one of several factors that help doctors determine what stage of cancer someone has. Knowing the stage of cancer helps the doctor choose the most appropriate treatment option.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma often goes unnoticed until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Treatment options at advanced stages can be more limited and treatment options at any stage can be expensive. It may be worth your loved one’s time to explore their options for compensation. There are ways to receive compensation for medical expenses if their condition resulted from exposure to asbestos.