Metastatic brain cancer, MRI scan

Metastatic brain cancer, MRI scan

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Credit: K H FUNG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Metastatic brain cancer. Coloured sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the brain of a patient with a metastatic brain cancer (pink, upper centre). A metastatic (secondary) cancer is one that has spread from a primary site elsewhere in the body. This cancer originated from a lung cancer. The cancer and the associated fluid accumulation (oedema) is pressing on surrounding brain tissues. Cancer cells divide in an uncontrolled fashion and migrate to invade other tissues. Treatment is with surgery if the cancer is still localised, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy if it has spread. The prognosis is often poor once a cancer has spread.

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