Metastatic Cancer

Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells.  A growth of abnormal cells is called a tumor.  Tumors can be benign or malignant.  Benign tumors are localized and typically do not present a health risk.  Malignant rumors can spread and may be life-threatening. 

The place where abnormal cells grow is called the primary cancer or primary tumor.  Typically, the primary tumor is named by the part of the body affected.  For example, if the primary tumor is found in the "breast," it is likely that the patient will be diagnosed with "breast cancer."

It is not possible to have metastatic cancer without a primary cancer.  If cancer spreads from the primary tumor to another part of the body, this is called metastatic cancer.  This is because cancer metastasizes by cells breaking away from the primary tumor and spreading through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to another part of the both.  The most common places for cancer to spread are the lungs, bones, liver and brain.  Some types of cancer have common metastatic pathways.  For example, breast cancer commonly spreads to the bones, lungs, liver or brain.  Lung cancer commonly spreads to the brain or bones.  Colon cancer commonly spreads to the liver and prostate cancer spreads to the bones.

While primary cancer, or cancer in situ, may be removed by surgery only, when cancer has metastasized it is almost always treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  Depending upon the type of cancer and a patient's symptoms, some cancers should be diagnosed before they metastasize.  Cancer misdiagnosis and the  failure to diagnose cancer before metastasis may be the result of medical malpractice.

If you have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, lost chance of remission or cure, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Syracuse New York metastatic cancer lawyer attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at