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Secondary cancer. Coloured composite computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scan of a section through the abdomen of a patient with a metastatic tumour in the liver (pink). A radioactive tracer, injected into the patient's bloodstream, has been taken up by the tumour. 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 and that is 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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