Infographic: Metastatic Cancer

When Cancer Comes Back

My cancer came back.  Four words that no one ever wants to say, or hear a loved one say.  

They fought the battle once and now their cancer is back and in a new location in their body. 

Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the place where it first started, to another place in the body.  A tumor formed by metastatic cancer cells is called a metastatic tumor or a metastasis.  The process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body is also called metastasis.  Metastatic cancer has the same name and the same type of cancer cells as the original, or primary, cancer.  For example, breast cancer that spreads to the lung and forms a metastatic tumor is metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer. 

The most common sites of cancer metastases are the bone, liver, and lung.  Although most cancers have the ability to spread to many different parts of the body, they usually spread to one site more often than others.  The plan for treatment will depend on the type of primary cancer; the size, location, and number of metastatic tumors; age and general health; and previous treatments. 

At St. Louis CyberKnife, we treat metastatic cancer with the CyberKnife Radiosurgery System®.  The CyberKnife system is a painless, non-invasive, outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects.  It is able to deliver very high doses of radiation to metastatic tumors with extreme accuracy.  CyberKnife allows physicians to zero in on the target tumor and irradiate it without harming the healthy surrounding tissue.  As a result, the CyberKnife treatment is more comfortable for patients, radiation is delivered more accurately, and treatments can be completed in one to five sessions.  

If you, or a loved one, have recently been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, knowing your treatment options, including a second opinion, is important.  St. Louis CyberKnife is here to help you in your fight against cancer.  

To learn more about metastatic cancer, and how it is treated with the CyberKnife system, please click here