Secondary cancers, CT and PET scans

Secondary cancers, CT and PET scans

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Caption: Secondary cancers. Sagittal CT scan (left), positron emission tomography (PET) scan (centre), and combined image (right), of a 42-year-old male patient, showing secondary cancers. Metastatic cutaneous malignant melanoma has spread to the sternum and the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. A metastatic cancer is a secondary cancer that has spread (metastasised) from the site of the original cancer, which in this case was a melanoma. This is a cancer that arises from pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin, mainly caused by ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Tumours can be removed surgically, however once a cancer has spread the prognosis is poor.

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